Ministry fights fraud with fines, incentives

Ministry fights fraud with fines, incentives
Updated 24 December 2014

Ministry fights fraud with fines, incentives

Ministry fights fraud with fines, incentives

More than 15,000 reports regarding commercial fraud were filed this year, ranging from substandard clothing items to counterfeit electronic goods, as well as hazardous foods.
In a bid to curb commercial fraud, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is now rewarding citizens who report these violations with 25 percent of the amount of the given fine, a ministerial source commented on Tuesday. The source added that the ministry applied various punishments during the past months including fines that reached up to SR1 million, and closure of the business for up to seven days, in addition to penalties that are issued by a commercial court.
The ministry gives priority to high risk goods, like mobile chargers, electric wiring and spare parts, with over 4,000 consumer products intercepted recently at the Al-Mazihimya market.
Deputy president of Jeddah’s chamber of commerce, Ziyad Al-Bassam, stressed the necessity to forge the cooperation between the chamber and other consumer protection societies. According to Al-Bassam, merchants have to improve their products to conform to international specifications, while the chamber’s role is to safeguard consumers through its various protection centers.
Dr. Habiballah Al-Turkistan, professor of international marketing in King Abdul Aziz University, pointed out consumers should know their rights, which is the responsibility of all civil society organizations, government agencies and research centers. However, consumers can also use a very powerful weapon, according to Al-Turkistan: Defamation. It can play a huge role in preventing counterfeit or low quality products from flooding the market, as business owners know that defamation can strike a heavy blow to their business.
In a related matter, and as part of the ministry’s strategy to protect shoppers and end users, the consumer protection society claimed that it dealt with more than 86,000 complaints and produced more than 80 educational films, last year.