The Ministry of Commerce Official Spokesman, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Hussain, explained that MC inspection teams have detected 825 violations related to excessive mask prices at some commercial outlets in all regions of the Kingdom. Meanwhile, instant fines have been imposed against the violators, who exploit Covid-19 pandemic crisis to raise prices.
Mr. Al-Hussain stated that the Riyadh region has topped the violation list with 194 violations by 24% of the total ones, followed by Makkah region, 167 violations by 20% of the total violations, then the Eastern Region, 102 violations by 12% of the total ones. Meanwhile, 64 violations were detected in Al-Qassim region by 8% of the total ones, 57 violations in Al-Madinah region, by 7% of the total violations, 53 violations in Jizan, by 6% of the total ones, 43 violations in Asir, by 5% of the total ones, 42 violations in Hail, by 5% of the total ones, 27 violations in Al-Jouf, by 3% of the total ones, 23 violations in Najran by 3% of the total ones, in addition to 19 violations in Al-Baha, by 2% of the total ones, 18 violations in Tabuk, by 2% of the total ones, and finally 16 violations in the Northern Borders, by 2% of the total violations.
Notably, the Ministry of Commerce had detected, during the last period, 22 million masks, stored for monopolization purposes and to be sold illegally in a number of regions of the Kingdom. All the seized quantities had been redistributed in market to be sold to the consumers at fair prices.
Mr. Al-Hussain has also confirmed that there is direct coordination and cooperation among the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Health, and the General Authority for Food & Drug, to ensure the availability of medical products, especially masks, and to control any illegal or monopolistic practices related to price raising.
It is worth mentioning that the price control is carried out by an electronic system that directly monitors commodity prices in all cities of the Kingdom, then the prices are analyzed and compared with the ones available in all regions and neighboring countries. Consequently, necessary legal measures are taken directly.