Saudi authorities have named and shamed a Saudi citizen and a Yemeni for running an illegal wholesale and retail clothing business in Riyadh, Saudi media reported.

Under Saudi laws, a citizen hiring out trade licences without actually being involved in the business is a crime that invites a fine of up to SR1 million.

The law states that anyone found offering a cover-up to a foreigner to run a business illegally will be held accountable for the crime, have the business shut down, its activity liquidated and its licence revoked.

The foreign partner, Yousuf Mohamed Ali, from Yemen, will be deported from the Kingdom and the law also provides for the defamation penalty by publishing the judgment in a local newspaper at the expense of violators.

The penalty is the same whether the citizen is an actual partner in the business or a mere nominal sponsor.

The fines could multiply, depending on the number of commercial activities involved.

A financial reward is granted to the whistle-blowers of commercial crime, amounting to 25 per cent of the total fines imposed after collection.

The Saudi Ministry of Commerce urged all citizens and residents across the Kingdom to report cases of commercial cover-up through the ministry’s call centre on the toll-free number 1900, the minstry’s app or website.