$135,000 of smuggled iPhones seized by Customs in India

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iPhone India cusoms
The iPhones seized at Customs.
Photo: Hyderabad Customs

Customs officials have seized around 80 iPhones being smuggled through Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, India. The devices included various iPhone 12 models, including the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. They also arrested two passengers who owned the checked-in luggage, and another person reportedly involved in the smuggling.

The smuggling was almost certainly to avoid paying import duty on the devices. Import duties on the iPhone in India were increased from 10 to 15% in late 2017.

The Indian Express newspaper notes that:

“The two passengers had arrived from Sharjah [in the United Arab Emirates] on Wednesday by Air Arabia flight G9 458. According to an official statement, the passengers were detained when they tried to leave their baggage near the luggage belt and flee. The officials upon noticing this nabbed them to check their baggage and found as many as 80 iPhones concealed inside.”

According to the report, the smuggled goods had a local retail value of Rs 10,065,000 ($135,000), while Customs officials also seized Rs 400,000 ($539) in cash from one of the alleged criminals arrested.

As much sought-after devices, Apple products are frequently the subject of criminal enterprises — whether that’s robberies, forgeries, or smuggling. For example, in early 2020, smugglers were arrested in Hong Kong for smuggling undeclared iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, and more — worth an estimated $1 million. Every effort is made to fight back against smuggling crime. But the rewards are clearly still sufficient that people carry it out.

Source: Indian Express