MC: A citizen and 10 expatriate workers sentenced to 72-month imprisonment and fined SR720K for commercial fraud

05 Jul 2022


A Saudi citizen and ten expatriate workers of Indian and Bangladeshi nationalities were named and shamed by the Ministry of Commerce for their involvement in running a laboratory producing and selling adulterated hookah tobacco. 

The culprits were found guilty of violating the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and the Commercial Data Law by the court. They used materials of unknown origin and packaged them with false information on the labels in order to sell them in local markets. 

The Dammam Criminal Court's ruling was made public by the Ministry. The ruling fined the violators 720,000 riyals and sentenced the citizen, who is the laboratory owner, to one year in prison and the ten expatriate workers to six-month imprisonment. The court ordered that the venue be closed and that all confiscated materials be destroyed. 

The case was brought to the Ministry of Commerce's attention after its inspectors discovered an unlicensed laboratory at a private farm in Al-Qatif Governorate in collaboration with security officers. Inspectors raided the place and apprehended the workers while they were producing adulterated tobacco using primitive methods. 

The owner of the place and the expatriate workers were caught red-handed while engaging in unlicensed activities, fraud practices and manipulation of commercial data. They were preparing adulterated hookah tobacco and dipping tobacco, and placing labels to mislead buyers to purchase counterfeit products.  

The Ministry emphasized that it will crack down on all lawbreakers and pursue legal action against those who swindle and cheat consumers. The Anti-Commercial Fraud Law carries penalties of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to one million riyals, or both. It also names and shames violators in two daily newspapers at the expense of the violators and deports expatriate workers.

The Ministry urges consumers to use the "A Commercial Violation" application, or the Toll-free number at 1900  to report any places or facilities that break laws. 

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Last Modified 07 Jul 2022