China arrests iPad smugglers

iPad mules caught with devices taped to bodies at Shenzhen border

Tags: Apple IncorporatedChinaGrey marketHong KongIPad
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China arrests iPad smugglers Customs officials became suspicious of the women as they were all dressed in a similar style and carried large bags.
By  Mark Sutton Published  December 9, 2010

Chinese authorities have detained 14 women who were caught smuggling iPads and smartphones into the country, according to the official newspaper Guangzhou Daily.

The women were caught attempting to bring 88 Apple iPads and 340 smartphones through the border crossing at Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

Customs officials became suspicious of the group of women as they were all dressed in similar, "fashionable" style and were carrying large handbags. a search found that the women had the devices hidden in their bags or taped to their bodies, including one woman who 65 taped to her with another 20 in her bag.

The women confessed that they were paid about 200 yuan each ($30), by a grey market smuggling ring, to act as mules and bring the devices in from Hong Kong. While iPad and iPhone are officially available in mainland China, the devices are cheaper in Hong Kong, and the 3G iPad is available in Hong Kong and not the mainland.

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