10 jailed after counterfeit detergent factory bust

Expired detergents seized by agents of the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Investments are shown in this file picture. Apart from expired products, counterfeit detergents are also becoming a menace to consumers in the Kingdom.
Updated 09 June 2017

10 jailed after counterfeit detergent factory bust

RIYADH: A criminal court in Riyadh has jailed 10 people for a total of 90 months, after they were convicted of running an illegal factory producing counterfeit detergents.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI) confirmed each convict received a sentence of between six to 18 months and a SR100,000 ($26,700) fine.
The gang was made up of a one Saudi, two Syrians, two Ethiopians, and five Ethiopian women. All nine foreign convicts will be deported once they have served their jail terms.
The 10 were convicted of commercial fraud, setting up an unlicensed factory where they produced counterfeit detergents, and of using forged trademarks to deceive consumers into thinking they were buying top-quality goods.
In a statement the MCI emphasized its ongoing efforts to protect consumers, prevent the violation of anti-commercial fraud laws and the abuse of the trademark system.
The statement added “all legal measures would be taken against violators who try to deceive consumers, which posed risks to health and safety.”


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”