Europe

Finland holds auction for Soviet cars abandoned by migrants

  • Kristiina Lappalainen and daughter Malla view one of the cars on auction during an auction as Asylum seekers' abandoned cars in Salla, northern Finland, on Friday July 15, 2016. Over 100 old cars, mostly Russian-made, driven across the northeastern Finnish border by asylum seekers and abandoned at the Salla border crossing point this past winter are auctioned in a two-day event in Salla. (Jouni Porsanger/Lehtikuva via AP)  FINLAND OUT - NO SALES

    Kristiina Lappalainen and daughter Malla view one of the cars on auction during an auction as Asylum seekers' abandoned cars in Salla, northern Finland, on Friday July 15, 2016. Over 100 old cars, mostly Russian-made, driven across the northeastern Finnish border by asylum seekers and abandoned at the Salla border crossing point this past winter are auctioned in a two-day event in Salla. (Jouni Porsanger/Lehtikuva via AP) FINLAND OUT - NO SALES  (The Associated Press)

  • Huugo Jaakkonen from Salla, Finland, celebrates his 60 euro winning bid on the first car auctioned as Asylum seekers' abandoned cars are sold off in Salla, northern Finland, on Friday July 15, 2016. Over 100 old cars, mostly Russian-made, driven across the northeastern Finnish border by asylum seekers and abandoned at the Salla border crossing point this past winter are auctioned in a two-day event in Salla. (Jouni Porsanger/Lehtikuva via AP)  FINLAND OUT - NO SALES

    Huugo Jaakkonen from Salla, Finland, celebrates his 60 euro winning bid on the first car auctioned as Asylum seekers' abandoned cars are sold off in Salla, northern Finland, on Friday July 15, 2016. Over 100 old cars, mostly Russian-made, driven across the northeastern Finnish border by asylum seekers and abandoned at the Salla border crossing point this past winter are auctioned in a two-day event in Salla. (Jouni Porsanger/Lehtikuva via AP) FINLAND OUT - NO SALES  (The Associated Press)

  • People gather for the auction of Asylum seekers' abandoned cars in Salla, northern Finland, on Friday July 15, 2016. Over 100 old cars, mostly Russian-made, driven across the northeastern Finnish border by asylum seekers and abandoned at the Salla border crossing point this past winter are auctioned in a two-day event in Salla. (Jouni Porsanger/Lehtikuva via AP)  FINLAND OUT - NO SALES

    People gather for the auction of Asylum seekers' abandoned cars in Salla, northern Finland, on Friday July 15, 2016. Over 100 old cars, mostly Russian-made, driven across the northeastern Finnish border by asylum seekers and abandoned at the Salla border crossing point this past winter are auctioned in a two-day event in Salla. (Jouni Porsanger/Lehtikuva via AP) FINLAND OUT - NO SALES  (The Associated Press)

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 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 Sampo Vaisanen told The Associated Press.