There have been ample reports in the past of how the obsession with Apple’s most coveted product, the iPhone, has led people to commit bizarre crimes. Whether it’s the design or its position as a status symbol, the iPhone sells like hot cakes worldwide and thus, is equatable to a huge sum of money when sold in black markets. Likewise, a new case has emerged in China where an overambitious woman tried to smuggle 102 iPhone units from Hong Kong to China by strapping them onto her body. But before her efforts could bear fruits, she was caught by Chinese custom officials at the airport, where after a thorough checking 15 luxury watches were also discovered to be in her possession.
According to a report by Chinese media XMNN, custom officers from China snatched the woman at a suspicious sight of her wearing more clothes than usual in the sweltering summer heat. The overabundance of clothes made the woman’s torso look inflated and out of proportion as compared with the rest of her body. After cornering her, officers found that she had packed 102 plastic-sealed iPhones and 15 luxury watches in layers wrapped around her four times. The total haul weighed nearly 20kg, reports Apple Insider. The cost of the 102 iPhones is said to be over $100,000 (roughly Rs. 65 lakhs) in the US market.
After the assortment of products was segregated accordingly, the majority of the devices belonged to the iPhone 6 family – however it could just be a guesswork looking at the size and antenna shape on the devices, and it’s unclear if the devices were genuine or fake. What else not clear is the identity of the woman, if she was willingly smuggling the devices or was a part of a larger racket, though she was dubbed as the ‘female Iron Man’ by local Chinese publications.
While this case is just one more in the innumerable iPhone theft and smuggling cases across the globe, the enthusiasm for Apple’s products is hardly going to fade away anytime soon. The motivation for smuggling iPhone models from Hong Kong to China is the price difference – China levies taxes and duties over and above the Hong Kong price, making the smuggling quite lucrative for both the buyer and seller.