Great search success for the Customs Authority Austria: Smuggled tobacco products, narcotic drugs, sexual enhancers and prohibited weapons seized during a house search in Hernals, Vienna In mid November 2022, the customs investigators in Vienna conducted a house search in a shop and at two residential addresses in the 17th district of Vienna

During this successful operation, a total of 8,660 cigarettes – 43 packs – of various brands and with warnings in English, 24 kilos of water pipe tobacco, 330 disposable cigarettes and 920 medicinal products, mostly sexual enhancers, were found and confiscated. The goods smuggled to Austria by unknown perpetrators were hidden in coffee machines, shoes and behind the sliding back wall of a cupboard. Drugs and brass knuckles – a weapon banned in Austria – were also seized by customs investigators and handed over to the police.

The intervention was preceded by several advertisements for the sale of smuggled goods. Following the search, during the interrogation of the 48-year-old suspect and shop owner, it emerged that the Jordanian citizen had already sold a further 18,000 smuggled cigarettes (90 packs) and 26 kg of illegally imported water pipe tobacco to customers in his shop in the previous months.

"The investigation results of our customs investigators so far suggest that this is a case of tax evasion and a wilful encroachment on the rights of the tobacco monopoly. However, it is not just the violation of the law itself that must be clearly demonstrated and which the Austrian authorities will pursue with all due diligence. It is incomprehensible to pursue one's own advantage in illegality instead of making one's contribution together with the honest Austrian taxpayers", said Finance Minister Magnus Brunner.

After this search success, the levies are now being imposed, and the goods found have been confiscated.