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Saudi Arabia sets up committee to combat commercial fraud

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Saudi Arabia has established a ministerial committee to combat commercial fraud and to develop solutions to eliminate the practice, the news outlet Saudi Gazette reported on Monday.

The new committee will look into foreign nationals who own businesses registered under the names of Saudi Arabian citizens, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Business owners will be asked to present Saudiazation certificates from the Ministry of Labor before they are able to renew their licenses under the new guidelines. Saudi citizens will also be asked to report suspected fraud via an online portal through the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.

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A number of ministries and authorities will coordinate to issue business licenses and manpower visas.

“The order also stipulated that the ministries of commerce, human resources and social development, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), the General Authority for Zakat and Income, and any other agency designated by the supervisory committee, shall undertake the tasks of providing the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence with the necessary data for the indicator for measuring suspected cases of cover-up on a quarterly basis,” Saudi Gazette reported.

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The committee will also supervise initiatives and develop measurement indicators to monitor and assess performance of the concerned authorities and ensure compliance.

The new program will focus on reducing the exit of funds from the country, promote private sector growth, and create a competitive environment that encourages Saudis to invest in the country.

Previously, banks had been asked to monitor accounts of expatriate workers whose deposits were disproportionate compared to their known income, Gulf News reported.