Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Argentina's Great Cellphone Heist

Mexican Telecomms mogul and billonaire Carlos Slim -of TelMex fame battling Telefonica throughout LatAm, and his own Mexican monopoly infamy- got a truckload of cellular phones stolen in Argentina. Slim owns mobile provider "CTI" in the country, which has been and so far still is the most agressive and innovative -of the three networks available-, as I reported here.

Today, local news media reported a truck full of mobile phones and accessories imported by CTI into the country was STOLEN AT GUNPOINT by an unspecified number of armen men in three cars, right from the parking lot at the TCA Argentine Airfreight Terminal, right across the Buenos Aires international airport, Ezeiza. The value of the goods was reported at $800,000 greenbacks (USD), and it was stolen after it cleared the customs. There was no mention about the number or brand/model of cell phones, but if we assume a value of $200-400 USD per phone, it could be between two thousand and four thousand phones, which is an awful lot to sell on auction sites and street corners...

Horrible, broken, automatic translation, here.

Carlos Slim Image courtesy of AgĂȘncia Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency. Image released under the Creative Commons License Attribution 2.5 Brazil, and found on the WikiMedia web site.

PS: If you want to see what the *cough* high-security *cough* TCA parking lot looks like, well it looks like this on a busy day (notice the reserved handicapped space).

I had to go there a couple times when PR bunnies fail to follow orders and ship items via DHL, ending up stuck at the TCA customs depot.

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