Aeroflot Airlines strongly denies that ten of its employees were involved in a scandalous $50 million worth of Apple electronic devices smuggling case.
The airline reacted to the United States Attorney Office for the Eastern District of New York announcement, where ten Aeroflot employees were accused of allegedly smuggling a $50 million worth of electronic devices, particularly Apple products such as Apple iPhones, iPads and Watches to Russia.
On October 22, 2020, Peter Morley, a spokesman of Aeroflot Airlines, denied all accusations. Morley assured AeroTime News that none of the ten people, whose names were published as being charged by the American authorities, were current or former employees of the airline.
“Aeroflot is working with the Russian Embassy in the United States and the Russian General Consulate in New York to clarify the substance of any allegations against the Company and to coordinate any further action“, wrote Marley in a letter to Aerotime News.
„Aeroflot consistently does everything in its power to prevent cross-border offenses and economic crime. Previously, the company has worked with law enforcement agencies to identify and thwart attempts to engage its employees in illegal activity similar to what is being alleged in this instance. The company’s response was robust and included taking legal action.
Work along these lines is and will remain a top priority of Aeroflot’s Economic Security Department,“ added Morley.
On October 19, 2020, the United States Attorney Office for the Eastern District of New York announced that while eight of the Aeroflot employees allegedly involved in the case were arrested, two of the defendants were deemed as fugitives.
It was alleged by the Attorney Office that the Aeroflot employees were members of an international smuggling ring that used a network of operators in the U.S. and in Russia with an aim to circumvent the U.S .export laws and regulations.
During the investigation, the authorities found electronic devices worth millions of dollars, “many of which” were stolen, in the luggage of the accused crew members, as outlined in the authority’s release.
The American authorities suspected that crew members of the airline could have been carrying out the scheme of smuggling cash and merchandise by using passengers of the airline, including current and former Aeroflot Airlines employees.