A veritable tech treasure chest of smuggler’s swag was apprehended by Chinese customs officers responsible for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge. With authorities finding 837 CPUs, 900 RAM sticks, and 10 SSDs undeclared in a passenger car, this is among the biggest tech smuggling hauls we have reported recently.
According to a Weibo blog post by Chinese Customs earlier today, this smuggling bust occurred at 7 am last Friday. If you follow the Chinese social media link, you can watch a dramatic video retelling the event, with a suitable musical score pounding in the background.
The video quality is quite pixelated, but we have put together a montage of shots taken from the timeline above. Apparently, the interest of customs officers in this particular vehicle was aroused first by an automated machine inspection noticing something "abnormal."
The abnormality spurred a further manual investigation by customs officers. In the video, they begin by closely inspecting the vehicle's undercarriage. A flashlight inspection revealed unusual underbody seams and structures. A little more investigative work on the undercarriage resulted in a large section revealing a stash of meticulously wrapped packages. The smuggler(s) had been found out...
According to the customs authorities, the sizable plastic-looking structure attached to the underside of the car hid 837 CPUs, 900 RAM sticks, and 10 SSDs. The end of the video shows some images of the bountiful, and probably very valuable, collection. Sadly, the photos are pretty grainy/pixelated.
Remember, these smugglers aren’t trying to get prohibited goods into mainland China. Instead, they hope to make better profits on the mainland by buying Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Region zero-VAT goods, then selling them in China, where 13% VAT would apply.
The smugglers’ tech booty in the car was quite cunningly concealed. However, most recent stories of China tech smuggling seem almost comical, with inept perps typically giving themselves away by acting very suspiciously. Another common giveaway is those smugglers who cannot move naturally, as they are wearing garments stuffed with components like CPUs, memory cards, or SSDs.
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Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.
Darn!! That would have made an amazing gaming rig!!Reply
The same techniques as drug smugglers.Reply
Everyone knows the Chinese government has harsh rules and laws etc.. It doesn't make sense to smuggle or be unrespectful in any way over there. Something's not right with those constant smugglings.Reply
The irony is all that stuff is manufactured in China but then people are smuggling those same items back there.Reply