$80 Million Worth Of iPhones Smuggled Using Drones

Smuggling iPhones is big business and smugglers use all kinds of tricks to avoid paying the dues required by law to legally clear products and while they’re often able to get away with it, eventually they do get caught. That’s true for all criminals. A group of smugglers in China used drones to smuggle almost $80 million worth of iPhones from Hong Kong to China’s technology hub of Shenzhen. Customs officers in Shenzhen busted them earlier this week.

Authorities in Shenzhen arrested the 26 suspects who used drones to fly two 200-meter cables between Hong Kong and mainland China. They then smuggled refurbished iPhones valued at $79.8 million. That’s quite an operation that they had.

This is apparently the first case in China where drones were being used for cross-border smuggling. The smugglers would operate after midnight and only needed a few seconds to transport small bags that contained more than ten iPhones. They could smuggle as many as 15,000 iPhones across the border in a single night. Obviously, their illegal business is finished now.

China introduced stricter rules for drones last year to prevent incidents of drones crossing into the flight paths of aircraft. The rules also require civilian drone owners to register their crafts up to a certain weight under their real names. This will help curb this sort of behavior.