Smugglers Sneaked $80M Worth of Phones into China Using Drones


Today, China’s Legal Daily reported that officials from the Asian country were able to shut down a major smartphone smuggling plot. A total of 26 suspects that were linked with the scheme were arrested by the Chinese police. Allegedly, the individuals made use of drones to string two cables between Hong Kong and Shenzhen in southern China. With the said setup, the smugglers could reportedly transport as much as 15,000 phones in a single night. Those who were arrested are accused of smuggling approximately 500 million yuan (around $79.5 million) worth of smartphones.

Efforts to smuggle various devices from Hong Kong to China are quite prevalent. A few years ago, a man attempted to sneak 94 iPhones into China. All of the phones were discovered to be strapped to his body. Also, in 2011, a group of smugglers were arrested for making use of a slingshot to set up a zip line that ran in between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which they were making use to transport iPhones and iPads. And in a less-successful plot, a would-be smuggler attempted to hide more than 200 iPhone units in empty beer bottles that were then sent to China from Hong Kong.

The Legal Daily reported that this is the first known case to have utilised drones as part of the smuggling scheme.