TNW Conference 2022 will be bigger, bolder, and better! Get your tickets now >>

The heart of tech

This article was published on July 19, 2017

Smuggling iPhones in your pants is a bigger trend than you think

Smuggling iPhones in your pants is a bigger trend than you think
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

A woman recently attempted to smuggle over 100 iPhones into China to make a profit. The woman was taking what appears to be a common smuggling route — bringing iPhones from Hong Kong (where they’re cheaper) to mainland China by way of Shenzhen.

Officials at Shenzhen spotted bulges on the woman’s body underneath the heavy clothes she was wearing in the middle of the summer heat, and detained her. When they examined her, they found four layers of Apple devices, wrapped around her midsection like the bandages of a futuristic mummy.

The officials who detained her counted 102 iPhones and 15 luxury watches. In total, she was carrying about 44 pounds of expensive hardware, making her haul the world’s most expensive strength-training vest.

Hong Kong is notorious for offering electronics at cheaper prices than other places — and legally, as well. Smugglers are paid a commission to deliver the devices by unscrupulous retailers who then resell them for a marked up price. Previous investigations by Chinese police indicate the transactions can generate millions of dollars in profit.

Get the Apple newsletter

Also tagged with