High FinesDuty unpaid watches seized
On the 29th of November 2009, Customs officials seized two luxury watches of a total value of 485,000 Czech crowns (approx. 18,700 euros) during a vehicle control. Three Czech citizens aged between 31 and 37 declared only the car wax they had acquired in Switzerland when crossing that country's border. Nevertheless, during a search of their vehicle, the customs officers found documentation and paperwork for two high-quality men's wristwatches which the driver and a passenger were actually wearing at the time.
The men attempted not only to avoid paying the import duties due on entry to Germany. A few days before this event, the watches had been acquired by a fourth person in the Czech Republic in order to get the VAT refunded from the export of the watches to Switzerland.
A criminal case was opened against the driver and the passenger regarding tax avoidance. Because both men were not able to pay the duties and fines imposed, the watches were confiscated by the authorities.