BES investigates case of “no one’s” Apple gadgets

Apple iphone 14 pro

The investigation into the smuggling of smartphones, tablets and laptops of a well-known brand into Ukraine has yielded new evidence, revealed official forgery, and led to the arrest of the carrier.

Detectives of the Bureau of Economic Security of Ukraine are conducting a pre-trial investigation into the fact of value added tax and customs duty evasion during the import of almost two thousand units of equipment worth more than UAH 100 million.

The minibus with the goods crossed the border through the “green corridor” at the Transcarpathian customs checkpoint without proper clearance and payment of more than 14 million in taxes. The equipment was seized, and the carrier, who could not explain who owned the cargo, was notified of suspicion and released on bail by the court.

BES investigates case of "no one's" Apple gadgets

The case gained a lot of publicity when it was considered by the Temporary Investigation Commission of the Verkhovna Rada chaired by MP Yaroslav Zheleznyak. The company that declared itself the owner of the property applied to the TIC and complained about unreasonable pressure from the Bureau of Economic Security.

However, it turned out that the documents provided to the MPs had signs of forgery. After the cargo was detained, the company’s officials issued invoices for the alleged internal movement of goods. The documents were submitted to the court in an attempt to lift the seizure of the material evidence. The Bureau’s detectives initiated additional criminal proceedings over this fact under Part 1 of Article 366 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (forgery).

The carrier himself was previously imposed a bail as a measure of restraint and obliged to surrender his passports. Due to the fact that the person violated these obligations and traveled abroad with a hidden passport, the Kyiv court decided to keep the suspect in custody.

The official owner of the property has not yet been identified, and the statements about pressure from the BES detectives turned out to be an attempt to avoid criminal liability and take possession of the illegally imported goods.

The BES is now considering the transfer of the seized smartphones, tablets and laptops to ARMA (the National Agency of Ukraine for Finding, Tracing and Management of Assets Derived from Corruption and Other Crimes).


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