September 5, 2005

Russia swamped with illegally imported cell phones

The Register reports that Russia is swamped with illegally imported cell phones which avoid a customs tax of 5 per cent and that Nokia and SonyEricsson models account for approximately 90 per cent of the country's mobile phone market.

"In August Russian police seized about 300 tons of cellular phones and components worth more than $10m. Five companies who apparently front for the smugglers are under investigation. Prices on the market have gone up dramatically after the crackdown."

And in a related story in today's Russian News and Information Agency, Novosti, five thousand stolen cell phones have been seized in a St. Petersburg port, a customs official said Monday.

"The seized phones cost more than 600,000 euros," the Federal Customs Committee said. The telephones were brought to Petersburg from Finland on a motor ship in 767 packages".

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