RIYADH — The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has named and shamed a Saudi citizen and an expatriate of Pakistani nationality after a criminal court convicted them of commercial fraud, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Criminal Court in Jeddah found that the Saudi had helped the expatriate to run on his own a store for selling computer supplies and other stationery items in Jeddah.
The court discovered that the store was registered in the Saudi's name but it was actually owned by the Pakistani under a tasattur agreement, which is an illegal arrangement where Saudi nationals allow expatriates to own and operate businesses in return for a fixed payment every month.
The court imposed a fine of SR400,000 on the establishment, which was ordered closed after liquidating its operations. It canceled the Saudi owner's commercial registration and barred him from practicing trade in the same field in future.
The court also ordered the deportation of the expatriate after serving his prison sentence. He will not be allowed to return to the Kingdom in future for work.
The court asked the Ministry of Commerce and Investment to shame the two violators by publishing their names and the criminal verdicts against them in a local newspaper at their own expense.
The fraud came to light when the ministry received information on commercial fraud specifically the distribution of counterfeit ink from a warehouse belonging to the establishment in Jeddah.
When the ministry’s inspectors raided the warehouse, they found evidence pointing to tasattur. Further investigations proved that the Saudi had provided the expatriate cover-up to carry out commercial activity in his name.
The case was referred to the Public Prosecution, which produced the two men in court after necessary follow-up.
The ministry asked citizens and expatriates in all the regions of the Kingdom to report commercial cover-up cases by dialing 1900, or the “commercial report” app or the ministry’s official website.
The ministry rewards the person who reports a commercial fraud with 30 percent of the total amount of fines imposed on the violators, which could reach SR1 million.