The Ministry of Commerce has defamed a Saudi citizen and an expat of Egyptian nationality after the issuance of a court ruling. The two convicts were found guilty of violating the Anti-Commercial Concealment Law. The citizen has been enabling the expat to practice real estate development activity in Riyadh through the company registered under the citizen’s name.
The Ministry has published a summary of the judicial ruling issued by the Criminal Court in Riyadh, including a fine, closing the facility, liquidating its activities, writing off the license, canceling the commercial registration and preventing the citizen from practicing the same trade activity, collecting zakat, fees and taxes, besides deporting the expat from the Kingdom after the execution of the ruling and not to be allowed to return for work, also defamation by publishing the verdict in a local newspaper at the expense of the violators.
It should be noted that the new law for combating the commercial concealment, which was recently approved by the Council of Ministers, applied new mechanisms that may contribute to eliminate the sources of cover-up and put an end the shadow economy.
The new law included heavy penalties of up to five-year imprisonment, a fine of up to five million riyals, the seizure and confiscation of the violators’ illegal funds after the issuance of a final court ruling, in addition to other penalties, including closing the facility, liquidating the trade activity, writing off the commercial registration and preventing the convicted citizen of practicing any economic activity for a period of five years, besides deporting the non-Saudi expat from the Kingdom and not to be allowed to return for work.
The Ministry of Commerce receives reports and complaints about the commercial concealment through MC Consumer Call Center (1900), or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report, or through the Ministry’s website. Notably, a reward to be granted to the informer that reach to 30% of the total fines, after collection. The fine is five million riyals against each offender.