Aeroflot Airlines crew members suspected of helping smuggle $50 million worth of stolen iPads, iPhones, and more into Russia

Allana Akhtar
·1 min read
aeroflot airlines
Aeroflot Airlines. Dmitry Feoktistov\TASS via Getty Images
  • The US has announced charges against 10 people in connection to a plot that it says used current and former Aeroflot Airlines crew members to smuggle $50 million worth of stolen electronics to Russia.

  • The State Department has revoked 113 visas of Aeroflot employees in connection with the allegations. 

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A US investigation concluded that current and former Aeroflot Airlines employees helped to smuggle $50 million in stolen electronic devices to Russia from the US.

Following an investigation conducted by the FBI, US Customs and Border Protection, the New York City Police Department, and other agencies, 10 defendants are being charged with smuggling $50 million worth of electronic devices using current and former Aeroflot Airlines workers, according to a Department of Justice release. The devices included iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches.

An inspection of crew members' luggage found millions of dollars' worth of electronic devices, "many of which" had been stolen, the release said. Federal officers arrested eight suspects on Monday afternoon, while two others facing charges were described as fugitives.

The State Department has revoked 113 visas of Aeroflot employees in connection with the allegations.

"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," United States Attorney Seth DuCharme said in the DOJ release.

Aeroflot did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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