Finland holds auction for Soviet cars abandoned by migrants

AP News
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Posted: Jul 16, 2016 12:33 PM
Finland holds auction for Soviet cars abandoned by migrants

HELSINKI (AP) — Finnish customs officials say over 100 mostly vintage Soviet cars abandoned by migrants crossing the Nordic country's border with Russia have been sold in a two-day auction that drew some 1,300 car aficionados to the Arctic.

Spokesman Sampo Vaisanen from the customs unit in Salla said Saturday the Finnish state netted some 19,000 euros ($21,000) for selling 129 cars.

Many were rusty Soviet-era Ladas and Volgas from the 1970s and 1980s.

The cars, sold mainly to collectors in prices ranging from one euro to a few hundred euros, were left by migrants earlier this year. Finland barred people from crossing the vehicles-only border point in Salla on bicycles for safety reasons.

The highest price in the auction was paid for a rare Volga 3010 model, which sold for 1,200 euros to the Salla Municipality "as a souvenir," county official Asko Viitanen told The Associated Press.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the name of the county official is Asko Viitanen, not Sampo Vaisanen.