Feeds

Cross-border kids used as Easter iPhone MULES in China

HK schoolkids loaded up with handsets, sent back to Shenzhen

The essential guide to IT transformation

Cross-border school kids as young as 10-years-old are being used as mules to smuggle iPhones and other electronic gadgetry from Hong Kong into China where they can be sold at a premium.

Customs officers found five cases of electronic devices inside students’ backpacks during the Easter holidays on Saturday, according to Hong Kong rag The Standard.

These apparently included four iPhone 5S handsets, four iPads, eight Samsung Galaxy smartphones and 50 gaming CDs.

The border control officials at Huanggang, on the Shenzhen side opposite Lok Ma Chau in Hong Kong, were said to have become suspicious after noticing the students’ hefty, over-packed cases.

The Easter haul is not the first of its kind.

A week previously, 53 smartphones and 12 iPads were apparently recovered from students’ backpacks and over 30 dodgy cases have been confiscated so far this year at the nearby Futian border crossing.

Over 15,000 kids cross the border every day from Shenzhen to go to school in Hong Kong, making them the perfect couriers for adult smugglers.

Most of the children are said to be aged around 10 and are coerced or bribed into carrying the goods into China, without understanding the legal repercussions.

High-end iPhones and iPads are not the draw they once were in the Middle Kingdom, and supply is outstripping demand there, by and large.

However, smugglers can still make a decent sum by buying in tax-free Hong Kong and selling in China, where electrical goods can be as much as 20 per cent more expensive.

A Forrester report back in 2012, when admittedly Chinese demand for i-devices was much higher relative to supply, predicted 70 per cent of new iPhones and iPads bought in Hong Kong that year would be smuggled into the PRC. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.