Stolen iPhones turn up in Russia

November 30, 2009: 6:56 AM ET

Smartphones linked to a big Belgian heist are being unloaded in batches of 100

Russian bloggers report that Apple (AAPL) iPhones in mint condition are being offered in batches of 100 at "knockdown" prices to wholesalers in Moscow's notorious Gorbushka electronics marketplace.

Because the phones are unlocked and have Belgian model numbers they are believed to be swag from the largest iPhone heist to date -- an industrial-scale B&E in which thieves cut a hole in the roof of a warehouse in Antwerp province and hauled off 3,000 to 4,000 iPhones.

Belgium is one of only three countries in Europe that sells iPhones without a SIM-lock, which makes the stolen phones easier to fence -- at least in theory.

The owner of a shop at Gorbushka, speaking on condition of anonymity, told last week that the "Europeans" -- as the hot iPhones have been dubbed -- have already started to appear in the market's shop windows.


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