Smugglers in China are going high-tech. This was reported as the Chinese customs officials told state media the suspects illegally transported up to 15,000 devices per night across the border from Hong Kong to the neighboring city of Shenzhen.
Chinese authorities busted a criminal ring that allegedly used drones to smuggle almost $80 million worth of Apple iPhones and other smartphones.
Customs officers said it was the first case they had encountered where drones were used to smuggle goods. The bust was made as part of a joint operation between authorities in the two cities.
China has stepped up efforts to regulate use of drones in the country. Last year, the government brought in rules including a requirement for drones over a certain weight to be registered under their owners’ real names, according to state media.
The crackdown followed an incident where drones were flown illegally over an airport in southwestern China, causing chaos for local air traffic.