Six “Instagram” Accounts Blocked by MCI for Promoting & Marketing Goods in Violation

30 May 2018
In coordination and cooperation with the competent authorities, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment has blocked 6 accounts in the Social Networking Site "Instagram", for marketing counterfeit and forged goods, bearing trademarks registered with the Ministry. The counterfeit products offered through Instagram included perfumes and cosmetics, in addition to clothing, shoes, watches, bags, gifts and others.

This comes within the framework of the Ministry's efforts to monitor and track the online sites and accounts in violation to protect the consumers' rights against fraudulent and counterfeiting practices, as well as to preserve the intellectual property rights of the registered trademarks. By blocking such sites, thousands of customers are protected against buying counterfeit and fake products.

Last week, the Ministry announced blocking a foreign website and its application, in addition to five "Instagram" accounts promoting counterfeit and forged products, bearing registered trademarks.

MCI warns all consumers against buying from unknown pages or accounts in the social networking sites. The Ministry calls on all consumers to buy through the electronic stores, accounts and pages that have a C.R. or being registered with the Ministry and have "Ma’arouf" Service Certificate, or through the well-known global sites. This is to guarantee and preserve the buyers' rights.

MCI calls on all online store owners and the marketers in the social networking sites to register their activities in "Ma’arouf" free service, where all the data of those registered in this service are available with the Ministry. This would enhance the reliability and credibility in their products and activities. “Ma’arouf” service provides the assessment of the online stores in the Kingdom, the opinions of dealers with such stores and the quality of their work. This would give easy access to every consumer.

MCI warns against selling or marketing counterfeit or fake goods online or via the social networking sites. This is considered a violation to the Anti-Commercial Fraud Law and Trademark Regulations, which may lead to penalties of three-year imprisonment, fines amounting to one million riyals, deporting the illegal labors, suspension and prevention of practicing the commercial activity.

MCI would like to affirm its on-going efforts by taking stern measures and imposing the legal penalties against those promoting or distributing counterfeit and fraudulent goods online or through the social networking sites, and calls on all consumers to cooperate and lodge their complaints and observations through MCI Consumer Call Center (1900), or through the application of a Commercial Violation Report, or via the Ministry's website.

Last Modified 26 Dec 2018