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Chinese customs arrests group of iPad smugglers

updated 10:50 am EST, Wed December 8, 2010

Absence of 3G iPad may be prompting crimes

Customs officials in Shenzhen, China have arrested a group of 14 housewives caught smuggling iPads into the mainland from Hong Kong, according to local paper Guangzhou Daily. Together the women were reportedly carrying 88 iPads, along with 340 cellphones. One of the women is said to have had 65 phones strapped to her waist, and over 20 more stashed in a handbag.

The total value of the goods is estimated to be about 950,000 yuan, or $143,000. The women were paid roughly 200 yuan ($30) for each border run; a customs official suggests that smugglers are increasingly using Chinese residents without criminal records as mules, since they're less likely to raise suspicion. The iPad sting represents just the latest development in a month-long campaign against luxury and electronics smugglers, which has resulted in over 1,000 arrests spread between Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

iPad smuggling may be attributable to an absence of 3G models on the mainland. Although Wi-Fi tablets are available locally, there is currently no choice but to go to Hong Kong or another country in order to get units with micro SIM slots. Worsening the situation is that China has imposed a tax on iPads carried into the country, regardless of whether or not the unit is a personal belonging.

by MacNN Staff





  1. tortenteufel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    some waist that must have been

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Limits to smuggling Apple devices...

    I doubt if many mules will try to swallow an iPhone or iPad like they do with cocaine. They might be able to force an iPhone or two up their asses, but the iPad is definitely a no-go.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    once again

    people will steal or smuggle Apple products but nobody thinks it's worth risking prison to steal or smuggle Microsuck garbage.

    Who's going to break the news to wrenchy?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: once again

    What are you talking about. They steal MS products all the time. Where do you think MS has the worst problem with pirated software use?

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yeah, there've been so many people caught smuggling Zunes and Kins that the news media has quit reporting on it.

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