HONKKONG – A Hong Kong citizen was arrested at China’s border after officials found 94 iPhones strapped to his body.
The man attached the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models onto his torso and legs using plastic bags and masking tape. The phones have been seized by customs officials, who frequently see people smuggling iPhones into China.
Officials had stopped the man when they saw him walking strangely.After setting off a metal detector, he was detained by officers and searched, revealing the iPhones attached to his body with packing tape.
The phones, consisting of a mix of iPhone 5S and 6 models, were found taped to various parts of the man’s body, including around his chest, abdomen, thighs, calves and groin. Initial estimates place the value of the phones seized at 300,000 yuan (more than $48,000).
While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been available in China since Oct. 17, the smartphones’ prices skyrocketed as high as $3,000 on the black market for the brief period when they weren’t officially on sale in the country.
Despite greater availability of the iPhone in China, smuggling is still an attractive option, since the country levies a 17 percent value-added tax to goods imported legally and iPhones are often priced lower in Hong Kong.
Smuggling iPhones is a common but prohibited practice in mainland China, where electronics tend to be more expensive than those sold in neighboring regions like Hong Kong.
Even after the products are made available in China, many people, some of them hired, smuggle in foreign-bought electronics to evade import taxes before reselling them for a profit.
Do you have information you wish to share with PakistanTribeCom? Email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share. Follow PakistanTribe on Twitter Follow @PakistanTribe and Join us on Facebook