Saudi Gazette report
DAMMAM — The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has defamed a Saudi citizen and an Arab expatriate who were convicted of commercial cover-up (tasattur) by a criminal court.
The court said it was proven beyond doubt that the Saudi national had been enabling the expatriate to carry out commercial activity in the field of textiles and furniture in Dammam on his own account using the citizen’s commercial register (CR).
The Criminal Court in Dammam sentenced the duo to a fine of half a million riyals. It also ordered the closure of the establishment, the liquidation of the trade activity, and the cancellation of the commercial registration. The Saudi was banned from practicing trade activity in the same field in future.
In addition, the expatriate will be deported from the Kingdom after the execution of the verdict and he will not be allowed to return to the country for work.
The court also ordered the publication of the verdict in a local newspaper at the expense of the violators.
The ministry’s inspectors received a tip-off on suspected cover-up activity involving an establishment for importing and exporting fabrics and furniture in Dammam. After carrying out the necessary investigations, the inspection team concluded that the Saudi citizen helped the expatriate to run a business, which he was not licensed to practice or invest in, nor was allowed to work at.
It was proved that the expat was managing the establishment’s bank account, which had transaction worth more than SR1 million during one year, while the value of the imported goods reached SR900,000. The expat’s bank remittance amounted to SR500,000. Accordingly, the case was referred to the judicial authorities for taking the necessary legal measures in accordance with the Anti-Commercial Concealment law.
According to the provisions of the Anti-Commercial Concealment Law, a non-Saudi shall not in any way engage or invest in any trade activity he is not licensed or allowed to practice. Any citizen who enables the non-Saudi to invest or practice any trade activity, whether by using his name, his license or commercial register or in any other way, will be considered an accomplice.
The ministry has been endeavoring to control and eradicate any violations related to commercial cover-up by imposing penalties that may reach to two-year imprisonment, a fine of up to SR1 million, deportation of non-Saudi offenders from the Kingdom, defamation of the violators in the local media and liquidation of the business activity.
The ministry has urged the public to report any cases of commercial concealment they come across through its call center number 1900, its website or the smartphone app. The ministry assured informers of rewards of up to 30 percent of the value of the collected fine.