All iPhone 7 owners in Ukraine are criminals, says head of Ukraine’s fiscal service
Head of Ukraine’s Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov said on Sept. 27 that all the iPhones 7 that are found in Ukraine have been smuggled into the country.
“If you see someone with an iPhone 7, you can tell those people that they are criminals,” Nasirov said at the Cabinet of Ministers’ meeting.
According to him, for the last two weeks, the customs officers have focused on looking particularly for Apple electronics on the border, and especially iPhone 7, their latest smartphone released on Sept. 7.
“Not a single iPhone 7 has been certified yet (in Ukraine). And none has got customs clearance,” Nasirov said.
In the first seven months of 2016, Ukrainian Fiscal Service recorded 41 attempts of smuggling smartphones into Ukraine. In each case, the smuggled phones were produced by Apple. The authorities confiscated 435 smartphones worth $100,000.
But the smuggling has accelerated with the release of the new iPhone in early September. The Fiscal Service has already recorded dozens of attempts of smuggling iPhone 7 into Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the two certified distributors of Apple devices in Ukraine, ASBIS and ERC, don’t even know how much what the new smartphone’s price will be.
Numerous Kyiv stalls and online stores already offer to buy iPhone 7 in Ukraine for $881 while in the United States the same model costs $649.
“This happens every year – when new models are released, they are mainly brought into Ukraine illegally,” Nasirov said.
This story first appeared in the Kyiv Post, a syndication partner of Ukraine Digital News.