Smuggled iPhones, iPads worth billions of rubles seized at Pulkovo airport

Law enforcement agencies seized a large batch of smuggled cargo from China

Law enforcement agencies in St. Petersburg have seized a large batch of smuggled cargo from China containing 50,000 Apple and Lenovo telephones and tablet computers, a source close to investigators told Interfax on Dec. 4.

The source said the operation to locate and seize the smuggled goods was conducted by officials from Department K of the Russian Federal Security Service and Pulkovo customs.

According to the source, the plane that arrived at Pulkovo airport from China was carrying containers whose content was declared as plastic souvenirs. In reality, the containers contained almost 35,000 expensive iPhone 6s and iPads, and also 15,000 Lenovo A560 mobile phones. The value of the seized commodities is estimated at several billion rubles.

"Four premises used by one and the same company have now been examined. One of the co-founders of the company is a citizen of Turkey. His Russian partner hid immediately after the cargo was seized and, according to operative information, is now in the Baltic states," the source said.

He said a criminal case had been opened on the basis of the results of the pre-investigative actions on the basis of the article dealing with "massive evasion of customs payments levied on organizations or private individuals."

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