May 03 2012
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Coverup cases up 64 percent
The ministry headquarters and its branch offices across the Kingdom have received 503 complaints during the first quarter of 2012. This figure is an increase of 64.6 percent compared to the same period last year and a 41.8 percent increase against the last quarter of 2011, Al-Madinah newspaper reported.
Well-informed sources at the ministry told the newspaper that more than half a billion riyals earned from tasattur have been deposited in the bank accounts of foreigners in the first quarter of the year.
These complaints were referred to the ministry either by citizens or foreigners or the government agencies concerned. Some of these cases were spotted during inspection raids by anti-coverup squads.
Egyptians top the list of foreigners who engaged in tasattur (20 percent) and Indians come second (18 percent). They were followed by Yemenis (15.8 percent) and Syrians (10 percent). Nationals from Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Afghanistan and Ethiopia follow.
The majority of tasattur businesses take place in the contracting sector (57.2 percent), followed by sales of consumer goods (17.5 percent), general trade (13.8 percent), foodstuff (4.6 percent) and other areas (6.9 percent).
Tasattur enables a foreigner to invest in businesses that remain outside the purview of the Foreign Investment Law and helps them get away without paying taxes to the government. Under this illegal practice, a Saudi allows a foreign worker to use his/her name and commercial registration to engage in various businesses.
Abdullah Al-Anazi, director general of the department fighting tasattur at the ministry, recently disclosed foreigners involved in coverup businesses transfer more than SR140 billion to their countries annually. He said the transfer of such a large amount of money would affect the Kingdom's liquidity causing major economic losses.
Such ventures also threaten the businesses of Saudis. He also disclosed plans to launch a major nationwide campaign against tasattur by the end of this year in light of the negative impact of this illegal practice on the Kingdom's economy and society.
© Arab News 2012
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