We have seen smugglers use a variety of innovative ways to smuggle hundreds of iPhones across borders. The sheer popularity of iPhones and the difference in their price in major regions has made them a favorite commodity among smugglers. This is perhaps most evident in China and Hong Kong, with new iPhones carrying a far lower price tag in Hong Kong than in China.
A Reuters report details that a group of criminals used drones to smuggle 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of refurbished iPhones from Hong Kong to mainland China.
They did not fly the actual phones between the two regions. Instead, they used to fly a couple of 200m cables between Hong Kong and China to transport the iPhones. These cables were tied to small paper bags that carried around 10 iPhones. The group of smugglers usually operated after midnight and used to smuggle around 15,000 iPhones in a single night.
We had previously seen smugglers tape iPhones to their body and use many different tactics to smuggle iPhones across borders and cross airport security. However, this is the first time where an instance has been reported where smugglers made use of drones. While countries are stepping up border security, smugglers are also stepping up their game and making use of high-tech gadgetry to smuggle goods between borders.