Customs officials seize stash of fake iPhone components in Hong Kong


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$120,000 of knockoff parts for iPhones and other handsets have been seized by customs officials in Hong Kong. The parts were being used to repair handsets sent in from countries including the United States, U.K. and Australia.

The director and manager of the company were arrested during a raid on the company’s offices in the city of Tuen Mun. The offices were being used as a workshop and warehouse. One hundred phones sent in for repairs were found onsite.

According to a report from the South China Morning Post:

“Inside the 5,000 sq ft unit, about 3,900 counterfeit phones and parts bearing the brands of Apple iPhone and Samsung were also confiscated, along with some machinery. The parts included phone screens and enclosures. The company hired three workers to carry out the repairs, but the local men were not arrested in the operation.”

Investigating officials say that the repair work included replacing cracked screens and damaged enclosures. They are still investigating the source of the fake goods. In Hong Kong, the maximum punishment for selling counterfeit goods is five years in prison and a fine of $60,000.

The problem with counterfeit products

Apple has long had problems with counterfeit components and accessories. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to reward police officers in South Korea for their work cracking down on almost $1 million worth of fake accessories. These were imported from China.

This latest story is yet another reminder of why it’s important to trust the people you’re buying your devices from. Even if it’s an iPhone that you’re buying second hand, you never know which components unscrupulous third-party sellers might be using.