Finance Ministry/customs: Biggest drug seizure in years – 140 kg cannabis found in "empty" articulated truck. Customs officers discover false floor

An empty articulated lorry appeared suspicious to customs officers on duty on 13 October on the A8, the Innkreis motorway in the direction of the Suben border crossing. During a customs check, the 44-year-old lorry driver from Montenegro indicated that he had transported the original shipment from Albania to Styria, and then wanted to travel on to Germany where he would take on a new shipment.

Both the cab and semitrailer then underwent a customs control. One of the customs officers climbed underneath the semitrailer, where he discovered a hollow space. In the control shed at Suben, where the investigation continued, the floorboards were removed.

In the now-exposed hiding place, 120 packages of cannabis were found, each containing approximately 1 kg of herbal cannabis. The drugs were packed using bubble wrap on the inside and plastic foil on the outside. In total, around 140 kg of herbal cannabis was seized. The lorry driver and truck were handed over to officers from the Upper Austrian Criminal Investigation Department, and the Public Prosecutor's office in Ried im Innkreis placed the 44-year-old driver in pre-trial detention. Further investigations are ongoing.

"The tenacity and diligence with which customs officers take action against smuggling and fraud in their day-to-day work has paid off in this case too," declared Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, proud of this recent success by the customs administration in the fight against drug-related crime. "Through the outstanding cooperation between police and customs, we will continue together to make huge strides in the fight against drug dealers."