A family from the Czech Republic is accused by the Austrian authorities of smuggling on the Vorarlberg border with Ruggell (FL). Numerous media reported. Now the family has brought in a lawyer.
- The Federal Ministry of Finance in Austria accuses a family of smuggling.
- She is said to have smuggled gold and silver worth around 700,000 euros.
- The family was blown at the customs between Ruggell (FL) and Feldkirch (A).
- The family has now hired a lawyer and denies the allegations.
- The authorities continue to investigate suspected financial criminal offenses.
The widespread claim that the affected family from the Czech Republic “wanted to smuggle home large amounts of gold and silver across the border from Liechtenstein through Austria” is simply wrong, according to the opinion of the law firm Althuber Spornberger & Partner from Vienna. The reporting was triggered by a media release from the Federal Ministry of Finance in Austria. The family is said to have a total of around 66 kilograms of gold and silver on the Vorarlberg border with Ruggell (FL) have smuggled.
In fact, precious metals (investment gold and silver) that had been in safe custody at a bank in the Principality of Liechtenstein for years should be transferred to a Swiss bank in Zurich and stored there as a result of a bank and custody transfer, according to the law firm specializing in financial criminal law. The family got to the Austrian customs office unplanned by car.
There are no customs duties for investment gold and silver, and there is also an exemption from import sales tax for investment gold. Due to the specific circumstances, no import sales tax should be set for silver. «With a correct legal assessment of the facts, there was no duty or tax liability at all. Accordingly, the offense of smuggling cannot have been fulfilled, ”said Martin Spornberger, the lawyer for the family members concerned. Whether or not reporting obligations were breached in cash transactions through negligence will have to be clarified in the further proceedings.
Family remains suspected
The Federal Ministry of Finance has a different point of view. On request of 20 minutes it says: «There is no tax exemption for silver. The duty rate is probably 0 percent, but the import sales tax of 20 percent must be paid. However, this has not been done. Even the silver was not declared when it was imported, and this was denied when the customs officers asked. ” It was only after examining the car that the hidden gold and silver would have come to light.
According to the authorities, cash or equivalent means of payment – such as gold and other precious metals under Austrian law – worth 10,000 euros or more would have to be registered. The family with the seized precious metals with a value of around 700,000 euros, which corresponds to a good 750,000 francs, did not comply with this reporting requirement. There is still a suspicion of a financial criminal offense. The investigation is ongoing.