Image Credit: Liu Youzhi/Southern Metropolis Daily via REUTERS

Smugglers use all of the means at their disposal to avoid paying the dues required by law to legally clear products and while they’re often able to get away with it for quite some time, eventually they do get caught. That’s what happened to a group of smugglers in China that used drones to smuggle almost $80 million worth of iPhones from Hong Kong to China’s technology hub of Shenzhen. Customs officers in Shenzhen busted the group earlier this week.

Authorities in Shenzhen arrested 26 suspects who were using drones to fly two 200-meter fables between Hong Kong and mainland China. They then smuggled refurbished iPhones valued at $79.8 million.

According to local news reports, this is the first case found in China where drones were being used to facilitate cross-border smuggling. The smugglers used to operate after midnight and only needed a few seconds to transport small bags that contained more than ten iPhones. They could smuggle as many as 15,000 iPhones across the border in one night.

China introduced some strict rules for drones last year to prevent incidents of drones crossing into the flight paths of aircraft. The rules requiring civilian drone owners to register their crafts up to a certain weight under their real names.

Shenzhen customs has said that it’s going to closely monitor new types of smuggling with devices such as drones and will themselves use drones to detect smuggling activity.

Filed in Gadgets. Read more about Drones. Source: reuters

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