It’s a case of “mobile armor” gone terribly wrong. A Hong Kong man was allegedly caught smuggling an enormous amount of iPhone 6 and 5s handsets on his body. Thanks to quick-acting custom agents, the ambitious smuggler was nabbed with his bounty of smartphones and stopped from entering China. The failed trafficking of 94 Apple iPhones is rumored to be the largest on record — unofficially, citing a MacroInsider news report.
Officials had just conducted a routine inspection of a traveler’s two handbags when they noticed something odd about the manner in which he was walking: his gait was rather stiff. A check of his bags didn’t reveal any contraband, but when he walked through the metal detector, alarms went off, as agents expected.
Customs officers soon got down to the bottom of the man’s awkward walk during a thorough body inspection: the man had nearly 100 iPhone devices taped on him. The configuration resembled someone in an armored suit.
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Altogether, the ambitious smuggler had 94 iPhones on his person that were held in place by copious amounts of duct tape, as seen in the photos. He was arrested and charged with illegal trafficking of electronics devices.
Police have become rather savvy in detecting smugglers along the border city of Shenzhen, a hotspot for underground trafficking of Apple iPhones and other items in high demand. The smartphones are typically pricey on the retail market, but smuggling allows potential buyers to own one on the cheap.
In Hong Kong and China, the trendy phones are priced in stores at $850 and $720, respectively. For many, these novel devices are out of reach. Therefore, buying on the black market is a viable option.
To illustrate just how high the demand is for smuggled iPhones, consider this: the release date in the United States was in September. One month later, they debuted in China. Although its been four months since the launch, the frenzy continues in the Asian provinces.
Officials say they are accustomed to people trying to transport goods across the border illegally. However, authorities did not anticipate anyone having the audacity to attempt getting around agents with that large number of phones, especially with improved detection technology.
Previously, the record for someone trying to sneak iPhones into China’s mainland was 66 units on a person’s body. However, the recent incident with the smuggler busted with 94 phones is being hailed as the motherlode in the annals of attempted smuggling.