Drones And Phones, An Ideal Love Smuggling Attempt?
Smuggling is something that has a long and controversial history, dating back since the 13th century in England, for example grain was usually prohibited from export, unless prices were low, because of fears that grain exports would raise the price of food in England and thus cause food shortages and / or civil unrest. Following the loss of Gascony to the French in 1453, imports of wine were also sometimes embargoed during wars to try and deprive the French of the revenues that could be earned from their main export. For 2 days a new way of smuggling has been invented: Drones.
A group of smugglers were caught smuggling up to 500 million-yuan ($79.8 million) worth of smartphones from Hong Kong to *Shenzhen. using electronic devices like drones connected via cables to transport the smartphones. Customs in Shenzhen caught the group and ceased the smartphones, arresting total 26 suspects in the process.
So how could this masterplan work?
The artists used drones to fly two 220 meters cables between Hong Kong as a method of transporting the iPhones. They operated after midnight and into the morning hours and only needed seconds to transport small bags that held 10 iPhones or more using the cable-connected drones. There were nights where these legends could transport as more as 15.000 phones. According to the customs officers this marks the first case in China that drones were being used in cross-border smuggling crimes.
Drone regulations are said to be "an important task" for Chinese officials, with the government publishing a series of strict rules in 2017 after drones were found to be interfering with aircraft flight paths. Civilian drone owners are now required to register any drone "up to a certain weight" using their real names.
While using drones might be new, there were other legends in China attempting to smuggle iPhones out of Hong Kong, this phenom has certainly been around for years. In early 2015, a man tried to smuggle 94 iPhones into mainland China by strapping them onto his body and under his clothes. Smuggling operations pop up frequently because of higher import taxes, which cause the iPhones to be more expensive in the mainland than they are in Hong Kong.
Afraid of smugglers?
As a company who sells with industrial and electronic devices, you always want to make sure that the products you sell always come at the right place, without having to deal with thief’s or smugglers. If you buy electronic components online, the chance of the shipment going wrong decreases. Work with companies who have an electronic inventory online and who deal with multiple suppliers, so the shipments will come, and you will not lose your investment even if crazy smugglers try to intervene
*The mainland city Shenzhen, is Bordertown next to Hong Kong, it is one of the fastest growing cities of China, the heart of the Chinese version of Silicon Valley.