Shenzhen authorities seized more than 400 smuggled iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus phones on Sept. 16, the first day the phones officially hit shelves. The seized phones were worth more than 3 million yuan ($450,000).
Customs authorities in Shenzhen’s Huanggang and Futian ports caught seven cases of smuggled phones, mostly hidden around the waists and legs of travelers. Suspects told customs officials that they only earn 200 to 300 yuan for smuggling 20 to 30 of the phones into China. Most of the apprehended smugglers already had prior customs violations.
The confiscated iPhones will be auctioned off to the public, according to Shenzhen customs officials. Individuals can find information about the auction on the Shenzhen customs website.
Mainland customs authorities have been tightening border inspections since 2012, specifically targeting smugglers of electronic gadgets. Officials charge heavy duties of up to 50 percent on electronic devices, but items for individual use are exempt from the tax.