Posted 7 мая 2020,, 08:15

Published 7 мая 2020,, 08:15

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Two thousand rubles for the iPhone: illegal pawnshops open during the quarantine

Two thousand rubles for the iPhone: illegal pawnshops open during the quarantine

7 мая 2020, 08:15
People who remained without work and livelihood during the quarantine period began to sell their things in order to survive. This led to the emergence of outlets operating under speculative schemes. According to the experts, enterprising buyers can be related to mafia structures.

Irina Mnishek

A visit to the closest cellular shop brought a lot of new things to think about. Firstly, in this salon it was possible to purchase protective masks at an affordable price and also a hand antiseptic. But this was not the most surprising thing. It seems that SIM-cards and mobile phones were of little interest to those who entered the salon. One girl tried to sell a wedding ring, but the proposed miserable price did not suit her. Another lady tried to sell an iPhone. She was more fortunate: after the auction, she agreed in price with the sellers. That is, more precisely, with customers...

Having typed in a search engine “the work of cellular salons in the period of self-isolation”, I found amazing stories. So, a user of the Antiques channel talked about how, in a communication salon, entrepreneurial traders bought not only gadgets from impoverished people during the period of self-isolation, but also diamonds and even antiques: “Guys buy and sell almost everything, from push-button cell phones to antiques. Of course, they have practically no antiques, with the exception of a couple of Soviet statuettes, an electric samovar and some little things in the form of badges, but the lot I came for was quite good. This lot was gold 10 rubles in 1902 in very good condition. "

The appearance of buying in communication stores during the quarantine period is quite predictable. Firstly, the activities of pawnshops are suspended. Secondly, a retail outlet selling cell phones and SIM cards is allowed to operate as a communications salon. Some of these points, for the sake of confidence, display on their windows products from the list of essentials approved by the Government of the Russian Federation for the period of quarantine. For example, antiseptics for hands, protective masks. Under this cover, you can do anything.

На витринах салонов связи - не только телефоны и смартфоны, но и  предметы антиквариата, украшения.На витринах салонов связи - не только телефоны и смартфоны, но и  предметы антиквариата, украшения.
На витринах салонов связи - не только телефоны и смартфоны, но и предметы антиквариата, украшения.

Who visits these new universal outlets generated by the period of self-isolation and quarantine? “During the time I was buying up, several people turned to them to sell their things. The first was a young guy who brought Apple headphones and a Samsung tablet. For his devices, he wanted to help out 7,000 rubles, but buyers bought only 2,000 rubles. Having tried to bargain, the seller surrendered and handed over the brought equipment for the proposed amount. The headset and tablet immediately appeared on the window. They asked for 4,500 for a headset, and 2,000 rubles for a tablet. The next client brought a weighty signet with a diamond. The buyers twisted it in their hands and weighed it. The peasant was offered 35,000 rubles, by weight of gold. From such "generosity" he swore sweetly and quickly left, loudly slamming the door. To my question, “Do such things often bring?” They said that now they go to them more often and give almost everything, since most pawnshops are closed. At the end they brought an iPhone. The owner of the smartphone said that because of quarantine she had not been working for two weeks and she simply had nothing to give rent of 25 thousand rubles. Buyers tried to bring down the price, but the girl was ready to part with the device only for the voiced 25,000 and as a result left the purchase, ”a visitor of the communication salon shared.

How legal and safe is this type of trade? With such a question, "NI" turned to Police Lieutenant General Alexander Mikhailov .

“If we recall history, then the crisis periods, for example, the Great October Revolution, the Great Patriotic War, generated such phenomena: in order to survive, people were forced to sell not only valuables, but also household items. And now a large number of trading platforms have appeared, on which goods are bought for nothing, and sold at inflated speculative prices. But this is not the most dangerous. Groups of entrepreneurial traders can conspire with mafia structures and organized crime groups. The second question: how did these things get into buying up? They may well be stolen, but no one checks it. Previously, missing values and things could be tracked by checking pawnshops. But the pawnshops are closed. In addition, the police are now engaged in completely different matters: patrolling the streets and monitoring compliance with the self-isolation regime. “There is no one to work in the police on the ground,” said Alexander Mikhailov.

In the meantime, law enforcement agencies report an increase in crime. “With the introduction of quarantine measures ... the number of crimes such as murder and causing grievous bodily harm has increased,” said Valery Samatoshenkov, deputy head of the Russian Interior Ministry in Kazan. He noted that the number of robberies increased by 2-6 per week. Thus, if earlier “8 such crimes were recorded per week, then during the period of self-isolation their number increased to 10-14 per week”. In addition, according to law enforcement agencies, the number of robberies in St. Petersburg, Togliatti, in Perm has increased.

These data are confirmed by police lieutenant general Alexander Mikhailov: “During the period of quarantine and self-isolation, the number of such crimes as hooliganism and robbery has increased. People in a desperate situation decide to steal. Moreover, according to statistics, the victims are, as a rule, the weakest and most vulnerable: the elderly, women, adolescents who cannot give back. Smartphones, iPhones, just push-button phones, wallets are stolen, they remove rings, earrings. Now the number of thefts in summer cottages has increased - they take out metal and carry it to scrap collection points. It is difficult to fight this crime: most often thefts are committed by “unidentified persons”. The police, which are already loaded with cases of domestic violence and quarantine violations, simply do not have time to do this or reluctance. So stolen things fall into illegal buying. ”

So, both self-isolation and the crisis led to the expected result: people left without money started selling things, creating the basis for the formation of criminal structures. Those who are deprived of work, livelihoods and the ability to sell something themselves began to get involved in criminal stories.