Police in Shenzhen have arrested a group of seven smugglers who attempted to pass through a customs checkpoint with 580 mobile phones taped to their bodies.
The phones, which according to a CCTV News report were either iPhones or Samsung Galaxy S7 Edges, were estimated to be worth over 1.3 million yuan ($200,000).
Customs officers at the Shenzhen Huanggang checkpoint noticed a man walking suspiciously on Tuesday as he attempted to pass through security. After setting off a metal detector he was searched and authorities found 35 mobile phones taped to his legs and belt.
His hapless counterparts clearly didn’t notice that anything was wrong, because within five minutes of the first man being stopped, the other six members of the gang were also in custody. All seven are reported to have a history of smuggling illegal goods.
Smugglers routinely attempt to bring iPhones and other high value electronics from Hong Kong into mainland China, where the so-called “parallel traders” exploit the lower duties found in the former British colony to make a tidy profit. Some smugglers, however, are more creative with their methods than others.
In May of last year, a man attempted to move 18 iPhones over the border using a hidden compartment built into his bike. And in September of 2014, police intercepted a speedboat which was being used to deliver iPhones to the mainland.