‘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.


Move to release Saudi prisoners in Taif applauded

Justice minister Walid Al-Samaan has praised King Salman for his directive to release all prisoners in Taif. (SPA)
Updated 20 min 32 sec ago
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Move to release Saudi prisoners in Taif applauded

  • The justice ministry started receiving requests for the implementation of the unified housing lease in the execution courts

TAIF: The Saudi justice minister and chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Walid Al-Samaan, has praised King Salman for his directive to release all prisoners in Taif who are insolvent in financial cases and not involved in criminal offenses.
The directive came after a visit by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the region.
The Justice Ministry aims to study and make suggestions and initiatives that would ensure a high level of performance for the Kingdom’s judiciary.
Separately, the ministry started receiving requests for the implementation of the unified housing lease in the execution courts as an executive bond through the “unified lease contract,” after linking electronically with the Ministry of Housing in July.
The step will contribute to reducing the flow of cases to the general courts, authorities said, adding that the real estate owners can now apply, through the “unified lease agreement,” which is registered in the electronic rental network, directly to the executive courts and departments, through the ministry’s portal, if the tenant does not pay the value of the rent when due.