Ten crew members of Aeroflot Airlines have been charged with smuggling $50 million worth stolen electronic devices from the US to Russia. These electronic devices included iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.
The smuggling operation was discovered when the luggage of crew members was inspected. The inspection revealed that the crew members were carrying many devices that were reported stolen and/or missing. In a Department of Justice (DOJ) release, United States Attorney Seth DuCharme says “As alleged, the defendants were members of an international smuggling ring that used a network of operators here and in Russia to circumvent US export laws and regulations,”.
The investigation was carried out by FBI, US Customs and Border Protection, and the New York City Police Department. According to authorities, eight suspects have been arrested, while the other two suspects are on the run. The government has revoked the visa of 113 Aeroflot Airlines members to investigate if any other crew members have been involved in the conspiracy. The authorities are yet to reveal what percentage of devices were Apple products.
Aeroflot is one of the world’s oldest airlines that are in operation. It was founded in 1923. And it is currently Russia’s largest airline. The company has reported a $485 million loss in the Q2 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
Whenever you buy an Apple device or any other electronic device for that matter, purchase it from a company-authorised or a well-established seller to make sure that you are not buying a stolen device.