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Argentine tax officials seize contraband Apple goods

Argentine authorities have seized a trove of contraband electronics worth almost $800,000 that included Apple iPhones and iPads, tax collection officials said Tuesday.

The shipment originated from a company in the United States but contained items that are subject to Argentina's import restrictions on smartphones and other items.

Argentina has no Apple stores, though a chain sells products from the Californian giant at huge markups.

For instance, a MacBook Air laptop that goes for $999 in the United States, Mexico or Chile might cost almost three times as much in Argentina.

Inspectors found more than 500 Apple products including about 260 iPhones, 10 iPads and 60 laptops. Other items included hundreds of Canon, Nikon and Panasonic cameras.

The AFIP tax collection agency said in a statement that it had found the contraband by checking databases and analyzing information available online from the importers.