NEW YORK, October 19. / TASS /. The US authorities charged a group of 10 people with smuggling $ 50 million worth of electronic equipment from the United States to Russia in collusion with former and current Aeroflot employees. This is stated in the statement of the Prosecutor's Office for the Eastern District of New York, available to TASS.
Seven accused – Akmal Asadov, Sayyuz Daibagia, Anton Perevoznikov, Shokhrukh Saidov, Marat Shadkhin, Kirill Sokhonchuk and Zokir Iskanderov – were arrested on Monday in New York, Azamat Bobomurodov – in Illinois, two more, whose names are not disclosed, are in wanted. "The defendants, according to the prosecution, took part in the illegal smuggling of electronic devices, primarily Apple goods, from the United States to Russia using couriers, many of whom were current or former Aeroflot employees," the text says. The arrested are charged with "transportation stolen property, failure to provide export information, illegal export of electronic devices and collusion. "
According to US prosecutors, the defendants were part of an international smuggling network and used couriers to "circumvent US export laws and regulations" of goods such as iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch. Some members of the group, according to the message, bought devices, including stolen ones, in the United States, while others paid with them with money carried by couriers under the guise of air passengers. The same couriers picked up the goods upon arrival in the United States and then took them to the Russian Federation.
The New York prosecutor's office, which dealt with this case in cooperation with the FBI, names Daibagia, a resident of Russia, as one of the organizers of the scheme. According to the American authorities, this person was not always involved in smuggling as part of a group of accomplices. He, in particular, is charged with the exportation of more than 1,000 items of Apple goods worth more than $ 1 million during four trips made to the United States from August to December last year. Saidov is suspected of taking out nine suitcases with 235 goods from an American company worth about $ 250,000 on October 5, 2019.
The prosecutor's office of the Eastern District estimates the value of the goods smuggled by the abovementioned persons into the Russian Federation at "over $ 50 million." During the search they found cash in the amount of $ 600 thousand and a batch of electronic devices.
"As a result of the investigation, the State Department [USA] revoked approximately 113 visas from Aeroflot employees for participating in the scheme," the prosecutor's office said in a statement. She does not specify at what time period the visa revocation occurred.