Chinese officials arrested 26 people accused fo smuggling iPhones between Hong Kong and China. It is reported that the smugglers used a drone and a cable strung between two high rises to move more than 15,000 iPhones across the border at night.
According to Chen Lian, deputy chief of the Wenjindu branch of Shenzhen’s anti-smuggling bureau, the gang worked all through the night from midnight to 5 am in the morning to avoid being detected. Although there have been previous cases of smuggling, this is the first time drones have been used for this purpose.
Each package contained approximately ten iPhones. “Inside the two flats, soundproofing materials have been installed to muffle the noise of the roving motorized wheels during delivery,” Chen described. “Each day, 10,000 to 15,000 mobile phones were smuggled across the border. As they operated 15 days a month, its monthly income reached over 10 million yuan.”
Even though iPhones are manufactured in China and cost around $1,000 in the US, they may sell for $3,000 in China. This is due to taxes and charges reserving iPhones for the elite. This has given rise to the black market and smugglers take great pains to smuggle the luxury goods into China.
Even though this is the first time drones have been used for marketing, it probably won’t be the last. Both the borders will have to be more vigilant and keep an even more watchful eye for any dubious activity.