By Abdo Khal
Every day, the local market attracts thieves from around the globe who specialize in different activities. Each of them is intent on robbing us of our money and sanity until they get bored.
Imagine if the thieves of the world were to unite against us and each of them was to offer you fake or counterfeit goods and none of them could be held accountable for this sin that is committed against you as an individual and also against the Kingdom.
The market is full of commercial fraud to an extent that it has become normal and natural. What strikes me is that the Minister of Commerce and Investment was unfamiliar with this situation before he took his post at the ministry. He then discovered that all sorts of fake goods exist in the Saudi market, including fake medicine, food, liquids and creams.
The steps that the minister has mentioned in fighting this fraud, including getting citizens to report fraud, rewarding whistleblowers, raising consumer awareness and using barcodes on commodities, already exist. He was assigned the job to deal with the horrors of what is happening and punishing those responsible.
Because we visit these markets, we see and hear everything. There has been enough talk; now is the time for action. The minister needs to reassure consumers that they can continue to live in spite of all the types of fraud that they are exposed to. However, the real fear lies in the counterfeit medicines that are being sold.
I call on the minister to recognize that not only is fraud taking place, but there is a need to penalize those responsible, particularly those responsible for selling fake drugs. We can complain about other types of fraud, but we cannot complain if we were to consume fake medicine. If we were to take fake medicine, then we would end up heading to our graves without the slightest whimper.