It’s hardly the heist of the century, but you’ve got to (perhaps grudgingly) admire the sheer tenacity of this one Taiwanese Foxconn manager who managed to steal 5,700 iPhones from his employer, and went on to sell them for a cool $1.56 million profit.
Foxconn is a tech manufacturing giant. It makes a lot of things, including laptops for HP, phones for Apple, games consoles for Sony, and its workers so depressed it has to install suicide nets.
The Taiwanese manager at the center of this crime – known only by his family name, Tsai – worked in the testing department at Foxconn’s factory in Shenzhen, mainland China.
According to Taiwanese prosecutors, Tsai ordered eight of his subordinates to smuggle out thousands of iPhones which were used by the company for testing and quality assurance purposes. These were destined to be scrapped after use.
The stolen iPhones (mostly iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s models) made their way to stores in Shenzhen, and went on to make Tsai and his accomplices nearly $1.56 million USD (Tw$50 million).
Foxconn later reported its suspicions to the Taiwanese authorities after an internal audit, and when Tsai returned to the island he was questioned and released on bail.
Tsai has since been charged with breach of trust and, if found guilty, he faces a maximum 10-year jail term. This seems a little harsh, especially when you consider that the phones themselves had no retail value to Foxconn and were going to be scrapped anyway.