By: Muhammad Zuhair
PC hardware smuggling incidents are already at an all-time high, and it is now reported by Chinese customs authorities that an individual has attempted to smuggle $32,000 worth of M.2 SSDs and memory products in China.
Alleged Smuggling Group in China Involved in Several Cases, Ranging From Latest CPUs to Memory Products, Detained By China Customs
We have reported several incidents where individuals have found new ways to transport PC hardware equipment illegally. Some of the reported cases are unique, such as when a woman attempted to smuggle Alder Lake CPUs through a prosthetic belly. This time, HKEPC reports that a man reportedly tried to smuggle M.2 SSDs while traveling provincially in China. Custom officials recognized the man’s appearance as “fishy, ” as he was wearing a loose coat and had an awkward bulge in his waist leading to a detailed check.
【失敗 】一名郭姓男子由澳門經拱北海關前往珠海，被現場關員發現其身穿寬鬆外套，走路時腰腹部有異樣隆起，遂將其截查。經進一步查驗，關員在其腰腹部查獲大量用塑料膜包裹記憶體、M.2 SSD、合計 450 條，預估價值約 HKD$258,000。 pic.twitter.com/GxBRuxoDIx
— HKEPC (@hkepcmedia) July 6, 2023
Upon investigation by the China Customs authorities, it was revealed that the individual was smuggling many memory products and M.2 SSDs, around 450. The items were wrapped around the waist and abdomen of the smuggler through a plastic film wrap. Although the details about the actual products involved are scarce, it is reported that the total value was around HKD$258,000, equivalent to USD$ 32,984.94.
Such incidents have occurred several times, and there are many reasons why smugglers attempt to transport PC hardware products illegally. One big reason is to evade local taxation laws to gain a higher profit by selling smuggled items. Moreover, whether the items smuggled were through an international source is unclear. Still, if this is the case, it has something to do with the sanctions imposed on China, which has created a scarcity of high-quality PC hardware.
Various attempts of smuggling hardware goods have reached a total valuation of $4 Million US in two years, reports China Customs. By the looks of it, the “group” involved isn’t slowing down, and it won’t take long before we see cases of the latest Raptor Lake CPUs being smuggled across China.