94 iPhones Strapped to Smuggler

Chinese customs officers noticed his funny walk
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2015 4:50 PM CST
Guy Caught Smuggling 94 iPhones
The iPhone 6 plus, left, and iPhone 6 are displayed on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Walking through customs with the gait of Iron Man may not exactly work out—who knew? Customs officers at Futian Port in China stopped a guy who had an odd walk and allegedly found 94 hidden iPhones strapped to his body, Gizmodo reports. According to a Chinese social media site, officers spotted his "weird walking posture, joint stiffness, [and] muscle tension" and made him pass through a metal detector, which revealed the phones. "The result is what looks like body armor fashioned from phones, including an iPhone loincloth of sorts," quips CNET. (See it here.) The still-unidentified man was traveling from Hong Kong, where iPhones are either cheaper or easier to obtain on the black market, the Huffington Post reports. They sure aren't cheap in China, where people pay around $872 for an unlocked 16GB iPhone 6.

That's hard to afford in a country where the average annual salary is only $4,755. Buying a phone through an operator like China Mobile or China Unicom is easier because they offer mobile-operator subsidies, the Financial Times notes, but the Telegraph reports that even then there's often limited supply. And smuggled iPhones may be no better, considering CNET's report that smuggled iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units have been known to sell there for more than $2,400. As for the alleged smuggler, he appeared to have mostly second-hand 5S models along with a few 6 and 6 Plus phones. He could face up to seven years in prison and a fine of $260,000. At least he'll be about 30 pounds lighter without all that tech hardware strapped to his body. (For more, read about a study on "iPhone separation anxiety.")

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