Ukrainians smuggle Apple devices from abroad to save money

Despite average salaries of only $2,000 per year, many Ukrainians still long to possess an iPhone.

But while U.S. customers can buy a new iPhone 6S for $549, Ukrainians have to pay $730 for the same model at an official distributor’s store. So many Ukrainians opt for cheaper, smuggled Apple gadgets.

Hand-held electronics are easy to transport and pound-for-pound are more profitable than other goods. As a result, devices such as Apple smartphones, tablets and watches are popular with Ukrainian smugglers.