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Facepalm: One might imagine that with so many individuals caught smuggling hardware into China, people would decide it just wasn't worth the risk. But no. Not only has another person tried to avoid paying import taxes, but they also broke the record for the number of China-bound processors strapped to their body: an uncomfortable 239 CPUs, worth around $50,000.
MyDrivers reports that the incident took place a few days ago. As is often the case, the smuggler made his way through the 'nothing to declare' lane at customs. But officials at Gongbei Port noticed he was wearing black baggy clothes. Nothing unusual there, you might think, but his appearance was said to be bloated and abnormal, which is usually a sign something is wrong.
The man was taken aside by port authorities for further inspection. It was discovered that he had used the old, and rarely successful, technique of strapping computer hardware to his body. A massive 239 processors were wrapped in bags and taped to his waist and inner thighs.
It appears that all the CPUs were the same model: Intel's Core i5-13400F. We didn't think much of the (non-F) processor when it arrived, noting that its $240 launch price, more than a Ryzen 5 7600, made it a poor buy, especially when the previous-gen Core i5-12400 is about $180.
China's General Administration of Customs writes that anyone who evades customs supervision by concealing, disguising, concealing, transporting, carrying, or mailing goods or articles that are subject to payment of taxes, as is the case here, will be investigated by the law.
Smuggling tech into mainland China is a concerningly regular pastime. It was only last week when we heard of a man who tried to sneak 84 Kingston-branded NVMe SSDs past guards at the Guangdong-Macao checkpoint by hiding them inside the hollow steering rod of his electric scooter.
Back in 2017, a woman was caught trying to get 102 iPhones past customs officers by, you guessed it, strapping them to her body. There was also a 2021 incident that saw someone attach 256 CPUs, worth $123,000, to their calves and torso with plastic wrap in an attempt to evade Hong Kong import taxes, and one man tried to smuggle 160 CPUs and 16 folding phones by taping them to himself.
A woman last year unsuccessfully tried a different technique of concealing 202 Intel CPUs and nine iPhones beneath a fake pregnant belly.