US authorities accused Russians of $ 50 million iPhone smuggling

Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 14:13GMT

In Brooklyn, a federal court convicted 10 persons of exporting electronic equipment worth more than $50 million from the United States to Russia. 113 airline workers have cancelled their permits.

Workers at Aeroflot took part in the project 

A total of ten people were charged with illicit smuggling of mobile equipment into Russia by a federal court in Brooklyn, in particular Apple iPhone , iPad and Apple Watch, for over $50 million and in collaboration with current and former Aeroflot employees. This is confirmed by the Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. It is not known if any of the suspects are Russian citizens. 113 The Aeroflot workers have withdrawn their visas.

Eight of the perpetrators’ identities are now identified. On October 19, 2020, seven of them were arrested in New York: Akmal Asadov, Sayyuz Daibagia, Anton Perevoznikov, Shokhrukh Saidov, Marat Shadkhin, Kirill Sokkhonchuk and Zokir Iskanderov. Eighth-In the state of Illinois, Azamat Bobomurodov was arrested. All are accused of transporting stolen goods, failure to supply export records, and conspiracy to illegally export electronic devices which, under US law, could face imprisonment of five to 10 years. There are two more defendants hidden from trial.

113 Aeroflot employees have their visas revoked due to suspicion of smuggling electronic devices worth more than $ 50 million

The prosecutor’s office said that the convicted Daibagiya and Saidov occasionally smuggled the machines themselves. For eg, Daibagiya made four trips from the United States between August and December 2019, carrying more than 1,000 Apple products worth over $1 million, and Saidov transported nine suitcases containing 235 Apple products with an approximate value of about $250,000 on October 5, 2019.

During the inquiry, electronic equipment worth millions of dollars, as well as more than $600,000 in cash, were discovered during inspections of the Aeroflot crew members’ luggage and several passengers. The cache of a private house owned by Shadkhin concealed part of the money.

The Russian Consulate General in New York is checking this detail, according to TASS. Consulate General Press Secretary Alexei Topolsky said that a large number of FBI agents had been searching the baggage of passengers heading to Moscow on an Aeroflot flight the day before at John F. Kennedy Airport. It postponed the flight by an hour.