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Chinese gang uses drones to smuggle smartphones, busted

Customs officials said the suspects used drones to suspend two, 200-metre cables between buildings in Hong Kong and Shenzen and used them to smuggle up to 15,000 devices a night.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2018 22:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
China,smuggling,smartphones
The gang was busted in February.(Representative photo/ HT File)

Chinese authorities have busted a criminal gang that allegedly used drones to smuggle iPhones and other smartphones worth almost $80 million between Hong Kong and Shenzen, according to state media.

Chinese customs officials told state media the suspects used drones to suspend two, 200-metre cables between buildings on either side of the border and used them to smuggle up to 15,000 devices a night, CNN reported.

Bags loaded with smartphones were attached to the cables and pulled over from Hong Kong to neighbouring Shenzhen.

The customs officials said this was the first case they had come across where drones were used to smuggle goods, according to state media.

The gang was busted in February during a joint operation mounted by authorities in the two cities.

China has increased its efforts to regulate the use of drones across the country. Last year, the government introduced new rules, including a requirement for drones over a certain weight to be registered under the real names of their owners.

The crackdown followed an incident in which drones were illegally flown over an airport in southwestern China, causing chaos for air traffic.

First Published: Mar 31, 2018 22:31 IST