Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers has approved a new Anti-Commercial Concealment Law. Under the law, violators will be jailed for five years and fined five million Riyals. It will also protect whistleblowers in anti-commercial concealment cases, according to the Kingdom’s Commerce Ministry.
The relevant Government agencies will be able to limit business licensing fraud or cover-up offences. They will also be able to demand entities which issue licenses to businesses follow up on them and inform the Commerce Ministry of any suspicious practices.
The Law was approved by the Shoura Council last month and will also see whistleblowers given up to 30% of the fines imposed on violators where this is applicable. It will be given once the case has been resolved. Those who report any fraudulent activities will be exempt from penalties or have the penalties commuted.
The relevant entities will be able to use technology to prove violations through ‘electronic evidence’ in addition to other evidence. The system also allows commuting or exempting from penalties for those who report violations.
The aim is to protect consumers and SMEs.
The approval of the law follows an announcement earlier this week that an anti-commercial fraud committee was going to be established.