Chinese authorities say a Hong Kong man was recently caught attempting to smuggle 94 iPhones into mainland China by taping them all over his body. The man was first noticed by customs officials due to the strange walking posture that apparently results from covering yourself with masking tape and Apple products.
A routine search of the man’s luggage revealed nothing, though his luck was once more foiled by a loud alarm that sounded when he attempted to walk through a medal detector. Closer examination revealed 94 iPhones- among them 5s, 6 and 6 Plus models- taped all over the man’s body like armor.
— WGN TV News (@WGNNews) January 13, 2015
Though all the same iPhone models the man was carrying are now available for purchase in mainland China, the country’s iPhone black market is still alive and well, officials claim. This may be due to the hefty 17% of value tax added to legally imported merchandise, as well as the fact that the smartphones are available for purchase at much lower prices in Hong Kong. This, of course, allows Chinese smugglers to both buy and sell the products at much cheaper prices, while still making a profit. All this however, depends on their ability to get the merchandise back into the mainland.
The International Business Times estimate that the phones could have garnered the smuggler a profit of around 300,000 yuan, which translates into well over $48,000 dollars.
The smuggler’s ploy was the latest in a series of failures by people attempting to sneak the phones across the borer. Last September, a fellow would-be smuggler was also caught attempting to smuggle the smartphones in his underwear. Others have attempted to exercise their stealth by speed boating or even zip-lining the phones into the country via a complex system of pulleys and wires.