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Under Saudi law, commercial fraud is punishable by up to three years in prison. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: A Saudi state food regulator has imposed a fine of SR500,000 on an importing company for having tampered with the data of a banned species of fish with the purpose of selling it at the local market.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) said it had received a request to inspect a consignment of eight imported types of fish.

On examining it, one inspector doubted one type as its data stated on the label and the customs statement did not conform to the appearance of the fish in question. Therefore, samples were taken, and all fish were examined, steps that showed one of the imported types was a banned river tilapia, SFDA added.

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Accordingly, the two-tonne consignment was rejected and the company located in the central region of Al Qassim was referred to the competent agencies for disciplinary measures and penalties stipulated in the kingdom's food system.

Under Saudi food law, the violation of handling or advertising food or any of its derivatives including prohibited, contaminated or internationally or locally forbidden, is penalised by a fine of SR500,000, in addition to banning or suspending the violator from practising any business linked to food.

Also under Saudi law, commercial fraud is punishable by up to three years in prison, a maximum fine of SR1 million or one of the two penalties, besides naming to shame the offender after a final court verdict is issued.

Moreover, if the offender is a foreigner, he/she will be deported from the Kingdom and barred from re-entry.