14 women caught smuggling 88 iPads upon entry from Hong Kong to Shenzhen
From Guangzhou Daily
Shenzhen Customs officers recently caught a gang of 14 smugglers red-handed and seized 340 brand-new cellphones, 88 iPads, which amount to 950,000 yuan (US$150,000).
At 12:00 on December 2 during shift change, several men wandered around at the immigration hall, acting suspiciously. Customs officers became alert after notice them, and judged by their experience that it must be a smuggling attempt.
The woman the finger points at is brought to the examination room.
Brand-new cellphones tied around her waist with scotch tape
Customs officers noticed on the surveillance monitor that several women dressed fashionably were about to cross the border from Hong Kong. One of them circumvented X-ray. Then another group of similarly fashionable housewives came, each one with a large bag slung over shoulder. Customs officers inspected their bags and found one of the housewives brought as much as 85 cellphones with her, with 20 in the hand bag and other 65 tied around her waist.
All of the smugglers are housewives. Most come from neighboring cities such as Shenzhen, Shantou. They said that they simply wanted to make extra and easy money from smuggling, and charged 200 yuan for each smuggling trip.
The housewives have been detained. Customs is investigating into the matter.
According to anti-smuggling officers at the customs, each day, at least 8,000 professional smugglers go in and out of customs ports such as Shenzhen and Zhuhai. Some of them travel as much as 50 times through the customs. They charge each trip from several bucks to several hundred, and earn 5,000 yuan each month on average.
IPad 16GB with wifi is sold in mainland China’s authorized Apple store for 3,988 yuan, while the price in Hong Kong is 3,332 yuan, or 656 yuan (about US$100) cheaper.
Smugglers often entice citizens of mainland China, especially those with a clean slate, such as housewives, into joining their gang.
Customs’ description of a typical smuggling group comprising housewives.
1, Several people wander at the immigration hall, acting as contacts.
2, Travelers pass the customs without being X-rayed.
3, Dressy-looking, carrying a tote bag over the shoulder.