Due to the increasing popularity and worth of various iPhone models, smugglers are coming up with more creative ways to sneak them into mainland China. But is it working? Not for the 26 suspects who were arrested during a major smartphone smuggling scheme.
They allegedly used drones to get the devices to southern China’s Shenzhen from Hong Kong. The drones helped by stringing up two cables that allowed as many as 15,000 phones to be transported in a single night. Some of the strings and wires collected were around 600-feet-long and could transport small packages holding about 10 phones each. The total value of the apprehended devices ended up being almost $80 million, or 500 million yuan. The iPhone is very popular in mainland China and can run for as much as, if not more than, $1000 on the black market.
And while this is the first time officials are reporting the use of drones in this type of operation, the smuggling of iPhones and other electronics has happened before. In 2011 smugglers attempted to use a slingshot to set up a zipline between the same two areas. Some have even tried hiding over 200 devices in empty beer bottles. And a few years ago customs officials in China caught a man trying to sneak 94 iPhones into the mainland. But he wasn’t using drones or slingshots or empty beer bottles, he actually snuck them in by strapping them to his body. He was attempting to bring in around $50,000 worth of iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S models.
It has been reported that dozens of these operations have been foiled over the last few years. Check out the video below to see more…