An Austrian producer of mouth masks is being investigated by the Public Prosecution Service in that country for suspected fraud.
In addition to economic crimes, the company is also suspected of labour law violations, according to the prosecution.
The prosecutor in charge of investigations into corruption and economic crimes took action after an investigation found that the company’s face masks were produced abroad, repackaged in Austria, and then sold for a higher price as products sold in Austria would have been created. This concerns FFP2 mouth masks, which must comply with specific European directives.
The employees who had to repackage the masks were not legally registered as such. The authorities have investigated two locations of the company Hygiene Austria. The company has denied guilt on the charges and committed to providing prompt clarification.
The demand for FFP2 masks has exploded since the corona pandemic. Hygiene Austria, therefore, had to hire a Chinese manufacturer to produce the mouth masks according to Austrian design, the company said in a statement.
According to Hygiene Austria, the mouth masks, despite being made in China, meet the requirements of the European Union and are certified.