‘70% of gas stations owned by expats’

Updated 21 June 2014
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‘70% of gas stations owned by expats’

About 70 percent of fuel stations are owned by individual expatriates as cover-up businesses, local media reported recently, quoting an industry source.
There are about 9,000 gas stations in the country of which 90 percent are owned by individuals, said Mamdouh Al-Rikhaimi, a member of the National Committee for Gas Station Companies. National companies only make up 10 percent of the sector, he said.
He claimed some Saudi operators lease gas stations to foreign workers who then fraudulently sell mixed gasoline to customers.
He claimed that the fraud includes mixing benzene with diesel or benzene grade 91 with grade 95, and the manipulation of gas meters. He called on the government to set up an independent body to monitor the fuel quality at stations.
He urged Saudi Aramco, which provides fuel to the stations, to institute strict monitoring of trucks transporting fuel, especially when loading and unloading.
Ahmed Al-Falih, deputy chairman of the national committee for gas station companies, said there is currently no independent body to oversee gas stations in the country, which is left to the discretion of inspecting officers.
To correct this situation, he suggested that three samples be taken from stations suspected of fraud. One sample should be kept by the operator, the second by the inspecting officer and the third sent to a laboratory for testing. If any party is not satisfied with the results, the three samples could be verified by a neutral laboratory for a final decision, he said.
He said the committee should be involved in any new system of monitoring gas stations in the country. This is because its members deal with all aspects of the industry on a daily basis, while inspectors only handle the regulatory part of the business.
He said it was important to ensure that each worker at a gas station is given clearly defined duties because this would help determine who is responsible for any fraud.


Coordinated Arab efforts urged to overcome challenges

Updated 16 July 2019
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Coordinated Arab efforts urged to overcome challenges

CAIRO: Dr. Khalid Al-Ghamdi, chairman of the Arab Media Standing Committee and general supervisor of foreign media at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media, called for coordinated Arab efforts to overcome regional challenges particularly the Palestinian issue and terrorism.
Al-Ghamdi was presiding over the committee’s 93rd session held at Arab League’s headquarters in Cairo on Sunday.
He said the meeting discussed a number of key issues including the Arab Media Charter of Honor. It was, Al-Ghamdi said, a continuation of previous meetings to discuss their outcomes and review the results in the light of proposals put forward by different member Arab countries.
The meeting was also attended by Arab League’s Assistant Secretary-General for Social Affairs Ambassador Badr El-Din Alali, Counselor Fawzi Al-Ghwail, director of the technical department of the Council of Arab Information Ministers, representatives of Arab member states, representatives of Arab information ministries and the heads of Arab media agencies and institutions.
Alali said the Palestinian question continues to remain the main issue in addition to the terrorist threats, sustainable development and the Arab image in the West.
“Implementing the Arab Media Strategy and improving media practices using the latest technologies is vital for media to effectively contributing to awareness programs and supporting the region’s vital issues.”
He said the inclusion of the Arab Media Charter of Honor and media education to the agenda is of great importance.
He also express resolve to counter the phenomenon of fake news and that the Arab media is serious about countering this problem.