Grave had been dug in failed murder plot

After an international money laundering ring run by two Chechen families was busted by the Vienna State Criminal Investigation Department two weeks ago, members of the family clan swore they would get revenge on those who had dishonoured them.

Grave had been dug in failed murder plot
Police symbol. File photo: APA/Newald

According to a report in the Kurier newspaper, Adam U. (45) allegedly plotted to kill one of the suspected money launderers, for bringing shame on the family.

He is accused of hiring 38-year-old Vazrail A. to do the job. However, as their target was still in custody, awaiting trial for money laundering, the two men apparently spent their time preparing for the murder.

They bought a small truck, allegedly to transport the body, and dug a hole in a wooded area in Simmering, Vienna. This is where the prosecution says they planned to bury the body.

However, the intended victim’s pre-trial detention ended earlier than expected, something which probably saved his life.

He then learned from other family members that there was a plot to kill him. He immediately contacted the police, who were able to find sufficient evidence to arrest the two men. They are now in custody in Josefstadt prison.

The man who was the target of the murder plot must still stand trial for money laundering.

Five members of a Chechen family were arrested in the police’s investigation into money laundering. The main suspect, her ex-husband, her mother and two of her siblings are suspected of having failed to declare jewellery they imported to Austria, and bringing in the gems disguised as clothing orders from Turkey.

The jewellery was sold in a shop belonging to one of the suspects. The families are believed to have avoided import taxes amounting to several hundred thousand euros.


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What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

It’s always good to know your legal rights when living as a foreigner in Austria - including if you get in trouble with the police.

What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

Getting arrested is probably not high up on a list of must-dos for international residents in Austria, but it’s not a bad idea to know what would happen if you did.

In a nutshell, the process in Austria is similar to most other countries in that you have to be suspected of committing a crime to be arrested.

But what happens next? What are your rights? And how long can someone be held in custody?

Here’s what you need to know.

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When can someone be arrested in Austria?

If someone is suspected of being a criminal, they can be arrested by the police and taken to a police station for questioning. 

Under the Austrian Code of Criminal Procedure, suspects must be informed of their rights as soon as possible, or at the very least before being interrogated by the police.

They also have a right to remain silent or to make a statement, as well as consult a lawyer.

According to Vienna-based attorney Evert Vastenburg, the initial detainment after arrest can last up to 48 hours while a judge decides whether a person should remain in custody or not.

A suspect can then be released on bail or under certain conditions, such as handing over a passport to police.

However, those suspected of serious crimes that typically lead to a prison sentence of 10 years or more (if found guilty) are almost always remanded in custody.

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When is someone remanded in custody?

To be refused bail and remanded in custody, there must be serious suspicion that another crime could be committed. 

The judge also must believe there is no other way to deal with the suspect. For example, he/she needs to be readily available to the authorities for questioning.

Another valid reason to keep someone in custody past the initial 48 hours is the risk of someone absconding. In fact, Vastenburg says a flight risk is often assumed with people that do not live and work in Austria.

Other reasons to deny a suspect release are a risk that evidence will be destroyed, witnesses will be contacted, or there is a possibility that further crimes will be committed.

What happens if bail is denied?

If bail is denied and a person must be held in custody for more than 48 hours, they have to be legally represented by a lawyer.

If a suspect can’t afford to hire a lawyer, they will be appointed a Verfahrenshilfe (public defender) by the state.

The case will be then reviewed by a judge on a regular basis to decide if custody should continue.

The first review will take place after 14 days, then at one month and every two months, but a suspect can petition for release at any time.

READ ALSO: Six tourist scams to be aware of in Austria

How many foreigners are in Austrian prisons?

According to data from the Austrian Judiciary, the number of foreigners in Austrian jails as of June 1st 2022 was 4,332 – almost 50 percent of all prisoners.

In relation to the statistics, the Austrian Judiciary states: “The high proportion of foreigners is one of many challenges for the Austrian penal system. 

“In particular, with regard to successful rehabilitation, the fastest possible transfer to the countries of origin is encouraged.

The most common nationality of foreign prisoners in Austria is Romanian, followed by people from the former Yugoslavian states, Hungary, Nigeria and Turkey.