Customs officers in southern China's technology hub Shenzhen busted a group of criminals using drones to smuggle 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of refurbished iPhones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, according to Reuters.
Authorities arrested 26 suspects who used drones to fly two 200-meter (660-feet) cables between Hong Kong and the mainland. From there, they loaded around ten iPhones into small bags and sent each across the cable system. The smugglers could move up to 15,000 iPhones in one night.
The Legal Daily reported this to be “the first case found in China that drones were being used in cross-border smuggling crimes."
Shenzhen officials warned that smuggling would continue, and their customs will do more to monitor high-tech smuggling more closely. Shenzhen customs said it would monitor new types of smuggling with high-tech devices and enhance their capability with technical equipment, including drones and high-resolution monitors, to detect smuggling activity.