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AirTags used by alleged human smuggler may ultimately provide enough evidence for conviction

Apple AirTag

An alleged member of a Russia-based human smuggling network used at least seven Apple AirTags to stalk his wife. And, they may be his downfall.

Ibodullo Muhiddinov Numanovich, a Tajikistan citizen living in the United States, is believed to have smuggled his ex-wife, a Tajikistani woman known only as "S.K." in court documents, into the United States. After she arrived in the country, Numanovich Apple AirTags to monitor her location.

Numanovich would hide the trackers inside S.K.'s car, placing at least seven on the vehicle between March and April. According to documents seen by 404 Media, he'd hidden them nearly anywhere he could, including the front bumper, wheel wells, and side mirror casing.

S.K. located the first tracker, while FBI investigators on Numanovich's trail located the next six. The FBI used the found AirTags to watch him and lure him in, as he returned to the car to place more trackers.

In addition to tracking S.K. with AirTags, Numanovich also used sexually explicit photographs and videos of S.K. to attempt to dissuade her from seeking help.

Numanovich is believed to be involved in a much larger, transnational human smuggling network based out of Russia. Bank records show that in 2022, one of Numanovich's bank accounts made more than $2.3 million in transactions, while another made $2.2 transactions. A third account showed $74,000 in deposits and $64,872 withdrawals in a single month.

Numanovich pleaded not guilty to the stalking charges and is set to stand trial on June 8.

In October 2023, a lawsuit against Apple claiming that AirTags are "the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers," had been joined by three dozen victims. The class-action lawsuit was given the green light in March 2024.

Individual states have begun pushing legislation that would make tracking individuals with AirTags unlawful. In May, Pennsylvania state representatives pushed forward a second piece of legislation that would penalize the unauthorized use of Bluetooth trackers, like AirTag, to track someone.

Two years prior, Ohio introduced legislation that would prohibit using tracking devices on another person's property without the person's explicit consent.

If your iPhone tells you that an AirTag is following you, AppleInsider has a helpful guide to help you determine what the best course of action is.