Saudi Arabia shuts business, issues $160,000 fine for violating anti-concealment law
Saudi Arabia has issued a fine of $160,000 (600,000 riyals) and shut down a business after two residents were indicted for commercial concealment, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.
The duo have been identified as a Saudi national and a Syrian resident who were involved in the furniture trade sector and the sales of sporting equipment in the Khobar governate, according to the SPA report.
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In August 2020, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Commerce announced the anti-concealment law to “contribute to restricting the sources of concealment and eliminating the shadow economy.”
Globally, countries fight concealment to enhance economic growth, reduce unfair competition, and facilitate investment and employment opportunities for their citizens.
In a statement issued February 2021, the ministry said that commercial concealment is a “wasted hidden economy estimated at 300-400 billion Saudi riyals, and upon correcting the situation, these amounts will have an added value to the national economy.”
In the latest case, it was reported that the resident was engaging in commercial activity by “importing goods from outside Saudi Arabia, marketing them locally, bringing projects and contracts, dealing with suppliers directly, transferring funds inside and outside Saudi Arabia, collecting revenues and profits of the facility, and managing and operating its business.”
The business was charged under the anti-concealment law.
As per the law, the operation was shut, commercial goods were written off, zakat fees and taxes were collected, and the resident was deported, according to the original report. The Syrian national will not be allowed to work again in the country.
Twenty government agencies are reportedly working alongside artificial intelligence technology to thwart similar concealment cases.
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