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Seizure of over R $ 300,000 on cell phones warns of contraband risks

Police operation learned hundreds of Xiaomi models that would be sold here in Brazil. Understand the risks of buying contraband devices

Last Tuesday (5) an operation of Military Highway Police seized more than R $ 300 thousand in electronic products brought as smuggling of Paraguay. The operation took place on the MS-379 highway, in the southern region of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, in the stretch between the cities of Dourados and Laguna Carap.

During a routine operation on the road, a pickup truck caught the attention of the police as it did a high-speed return maneuver and entered a rural road that passed through a cane field. The police started the chase and, a few kilometers ahead, found the vehicle stopped in the middle of the road, with the doors open and the key in contact.

Inside, hundreds of cell phone cases were found, in addition to other electronic devices. Soon after, the police found the driver of the vehicle, who was trying to hide in the middle of vegetation. When questioned, he confessed that he had been hired to transport goods from Paraguay to the city of Dourados.

smartphone hacking Part of the cargo seized by the Military Highway Police on MS-379 (Image: PMR / MS)

In total, 345 smartphones were found in the vehicle Redmi Note 8 64 GB of Xiaomi, 12 smartwatches of the same brand, 6 SSD memory cards from Kingston and 4 modems / routers from TP Link, in an estimated sum of R $ 350,200.00.

So far, the police have not disclosed who would receive these products in Dourados, but there is a possibility that they would be distributed to more than one single interested party, being put up for sale without invoice both on the internet and on camels that work with this one. product type.

Increased smuggling in Brazil

This type of operation is nothing new, and it happens routinely in regions bordering Paraguay (Mato Grosso do Sul and Paran). And even so, it is difficult to contain the activity of so many smugglers: in 2019, the seizure of goods from smuggling coming from the neighboring country grew 34% when compared to the previous year, adding up to a total of R $ 1.2 billion in seized products.

Previously using vehicles such as trucks and buses, in recent years criminals have increasingly used passenger cars, where in addition to stolen cars or adulterated license plates, the use of rental cars in other states is also increasingly common.

This new tactic is interesting for two reasons: as the number of border operations has grown, dividing the merchandise into several vehicles reduces the smugglers' damage if one of these vehicles is stopped by the police. In addition, passenger cars tend to draw less attention from police officers during these operations – and, in the case of the use of rented cars, they still have the advantage that all vehicle documentation is in order, which makes them even less suspicious.

The Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro have been made official and will be launched in China in the coming days (Photo: Disclosure)The arrival of Chinese brands in Brazil, such as Xiaomi and Huawei, increased consumer demand for devices from these companies that are not yet sold here, the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro (Image: Xiaomi)

And one of those responsible for this increase in smuggling is the consumer himself, especially the one looking for a new cell phone. According to a study by IDC (world leader in market intelligence) only in the second quarter of 2019 (period between April and June) the illegal trade in smartphones in Brazil grew 659% when compared to the same period in 2018.

One of the possible reasons for this amazing growth was pointed out by the newspaper The State of So Paulo, and it would have been the official arrival in the country of Chinese brands Xiaomi and Huawei, which increased the exposure of the common consumer (that is, the one who does not usually research the latest news in the smartphone market) to these brands, which would have caused a greater number of demand for the devices of both. And, as only a few models of these brands are officially sold here, this would have heated up the smartphone market smuggled, increasing the offer of products of both brands to any potential consumer.

These contraband devices come from outside the country, without paying due taxes import duties required by the Brazilian tax authorities. The practice of tax evasion is considered a crime, and takes money from the country's coffers that could be used to improve public services, such as education, health and security.

Why not buy contraband devices

It is easy to understand the reasons that lead a person to buy a smartphone smuggledbecause not only is there a greater offer of products (as in the case already mentioned by Chinese brands, which have not yet made the entire catalog available here), but there is also a huge difference in price, not infrequently when a smartphone that arrived at country through smuggling cost half the price of the same device that sold with an invoice at a trusted store.

Even so, there are several reasons for not buying a contraband device, mainly because in doing so you are risking running out of equipment at any time. This is because you may be buying a device pirate, which is not allowed to be used in the country, so whoever purchases them runs the risk of having the device blocked at any time by Anatel, not allowing the registration on the network of any operator and preventing it from being used to make calls or access the internet in places that do not have Wi-Fi.

In addition, there is also the issue of security: as this device came as contraband, it did not pass the mandatory tests of the Anatel to certify the quality of the electronic components used in it, and the user is at risk of acquiring equipment with technical failures that may be light (such as, for example, failing to establish a stable connection to the internet) or quite serious (such as a battery that explodes when loaded).

Cell phone without signalDevices not approved by Anatel may have constant signal problems

Another problem with smuggling is that even devices that have versions approved in Brazil, but that have been purchased in another country, may not work properly in the 4G frequency bands of Brazilian operators. In this case, the device will be constantly suffering from low signal strength, or even the complete drop in the connection with the operator.

And, as these devices were sold illegally, any problem that occurs to the customer not only does not have access to a guarantee from the seller (since these devices are not usually sold in legal stores), but also does not get a factory warranty, since technical assistance usually requires the presentation of the purchase invoice in order to make free repairs on devices that are still under warranty.

Therefore, it is important to be suspicious of places that sell electronic products (such as video games and cell phones) at prices well below the market average, and always demand the invoice at the time of purchase, as it provides the consumer with the assurance that they will have the necessary support in case the equipment should be defective.

Source: MidiaMax, O Globo, G1, Linkedin