Smuggler caught with 256 microchips cling-filmed to his body

A few days ago, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Customs announced that it had seized two cross-border smuggling cases on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in June, and seized a large number of computer central processing units. The two smuggling cases seized 256 and 52 CPUs respectively. One of them was arrested. Cross-border drivers have hidden a total of 256 Intel CPUs in the upper body, calves, etc., with a total value of more than 800,000 yuan. The first smuggling case was seized on June 16. When the customs officer of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge inspected a cross-border passenger truck from Guangdong and Macao, he found that the driver was acting abnormally and looked nervous. After further inspection, Customs officers found multiple CPUs strapped to the upper ribs and calves. In a video uploaded by the customs, it can be seen that the customs officer has removed a total of 256 CPUs from the arrested driver, and can see that the CPUs seized this time include multiple Intel Core i7-10700 and Core i9-10900K .
Customs agents have seized hundreds of CPUs from smugglers (Credit: Customs Department of Hong Kong)

Hong Kong customs officers have seized hundreds of computer processors from a suspected smuggler who strapped the chips to his body with cling film.

Officers caught the man trying to drive 256 high-end CPUs across a bridge that connects Hong Kong with the cities of Zhuhai and Macau Bridge on June 16.

Customs valued the large haul, which consisted of Intel Core i7 10700 and Core i9 10900K processors, at roughly 800,000 yuan (£90,000).

The hidden cargo was discovered during a routine inspection of the passenger truck the man was driving into Hong Kong.

Officers said they decided to look more closely when they noticed the driver was behaving strangely.

A few days ago, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Customs announced that it had seized two cross-border smuggling cases on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in June, and seized a large number of computer central processing units. The two smuggling cases seized 256 and 52 CPUs respectively. One of them was arrested. Cross-border drivers have hidden a total of 256 Intel CPUs in the upper body, calves, etc., with a total value of more than 800,000 yuan. The first smuggling case was seized on June 16. When the customs officer of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge inspected a cross-border passenger truck from Guangdong and Macao, he found that the driver was acting abnormally and looked nervous. After further inspection, Customs officers found multiple CPUs strapped to the upper ribs and calves. In a video uploaded by the customs, it can be seen that the customs officer has removed a total of 256 CPUs from the arrested driver, and can see that the CPUs seized this time include multiple Intel Core i7-10700 and Core i9-10900K .
This man tried to smuggle computer parts by strapping them to his legs and upper body with cling film (Credit: Customs Department of Hong Kong)

With a global chip shortage sending computer component prices soaring, smuggling the tiny parts has become big business.

Just ten days after the attempted cling film heist, officers working at the same bridge found another 52 CPUs stuffed between truck seats in another suspected smuggling case.

They located this second batch of CPUs by scanning the front seats of the vehicle.

A few days ago, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Customs announced that it had seized two cross-border smuggling cases on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in June, and seized a large number of computer central processing units. The two smuggling cases seized 256 and 52 CPUs respectively. One of them was arrested. Cross-border drivers have hidden a total of 256 Intel CPUs in the upper body, calves, etc., with a total value of more than 800,000 yuan. The first smuggling case was seized on June 16. When the customs officer of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge inspected a cross-border passenger truck from Guangdong and Macao, he found that the driver was acting abnormally and looked nervous. After further inspection, Customs officers found multiple CPUs strapped to the upper ribs and calves. In a video uploaded by the customs, it can be seen that the customs officer has removed a total of 256 CPUs from the arrested driver, and can see that the CPUs seized this time include multiple Intel Core i7-10700 and Core i9-10900K .
Customs officers valued the haul at roughly £90,000. (Customs Department of Hong Kong)

And just this week, officers at the Lok Ma Chau Control Point which separates Hong Kong from mainland China seized an enormous haul of allegedly smuggled computer parts valued at nearly £2.9 million.

They found roughly 2,200 CPUs, 1,000 memory chips and 630 smartphones mixed in other electronic items that had been declared in ten cartons inside a container.

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