EPPO: Successful German-Austrian Operation against Controversial Mask Deal
EPPO investigations into COVID-19-related frauds become increasingly important. On 29/30 September 2021, the EPPO conducted searches in Austria as part of a cross-border investigations into customs fraud in relation to the import of FFP2 masks from China to the EU. The investigations are led by a German European Delegated Prosecutor. They revealed that the masks were allegedly deliberately undervalued in order to circumvent customs duties. Since the masks were imported to Austria via Frankfurt (Germany), searches had to be carried out in Vienna and other locations in Austria and several witness statements were taken. The EPPO closely cooperated with the Austrian Central Specialised Prosecution Office for the Fight Against Economic Crimes and Corruption (WKStA), which is conducting parallel investigations.