A number of government officials and legal legal experts in the consumer affairs department are of the opinion that the sale of pirated goods are among the most serious crimes which happen in the absence of culture, noting that the risks reach human health if they counterfeit food products are sold to people and even if they are in car parts because they can lead to serious road accidents.
The experts added, in separate statements to a local Arabic daily that counterfeit goods appear in many products, including clothes, watches and shoes, although according to the law, the penalty for displaying a counterfeit good is to close the shop immediately before referring it to the prosecution. They said much of the proceeds from the sale of pirated goods are allegedly siphoned to support terrorism and money laundering activities.
Director of the Commercial Control Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Abdul Rahman Al-Mutairi said that the risks of counterfeit goods are represented in many products such as auto parts, clothing, watches and shoes.
He pointed out that the penalty for the violator for displaying a counterfeit product is to close the shop immediately before referring it to the Public Prosecution Office.
As for the types of fraud in the form of counterfeit goods and merchandise, Al-Mutairi said that Law No. 62 of 2007 punishes in its first article with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding two thousand dinars, or one of these two penalties, whoever deceives or intentionally uses means that would deceive the consumer in any way.
Lawyer Muhammad Al-Jassem stated that imitation crimes are among the most serious crimes, pointing out that in the absence of culture from the dimensions of this crime, many people find it easy.
He added that, according to the investigations carried out by Interpol, it was found that most of the capital available to terrorist cells resulted from crimes of counterfeiting cases. They practice all kinds of imitations. Counterfeiting is linked to two things, the first is terrorist crimes and terrorist cells, and the second is money laundering, because counterfeiting is involved in money laundering.
For his part, the expert in consumer protection affairs Rashid Saad Al-Hajri said that some consumers can differentiate between counterfeit and original goods, but not all goods, indicating that they may be exposed to a lot of fraud and imitation.
Al-Hajri added that from the legal side, if the commercial inspector suspects that the commodity is counterfeit, he can seize it and take a sample and send it to the Ministry of Interior “Forensic Evidence Department” and get it examined, which is the final authority. The forensic evidence report is also considered proof by the judge.
Lawyer Jarrah Al-Enezi said that the penalties prescribed in the law for the phenomenon of forgery and commercial fraud are insufficient, pointing out that the legislature should increase the penalties for violators.
Al-Enezi added that the aggravation of this phenomenon and its extension to all economic activities will not work with the current legislation. We need to tighten the penalties to be a deterrent.