In the latest crackdown on Chinese customs hardware smuggling, authorities have arrested a hardware smuggler who tried to smuggle 420 M.2 SSDs into China. Customs estimated the value of the confiscated SSD at approximately HK$258,000, or $32,984.94. Perhaps some of these drives are among the best of his SSDs.
Chinese media Hong Kong Economic Commission first discovered the story and reported that smugglers attempted to smuggle illegal goods from Macau to Zhuhai through Gongbei Port. Given the proximity of Macau and Zhuhai, this passage is he one of the most popular trafficking routes for mules. It wasn’t too long ago that a woman hid over 200 Alderlake chips inside a fake silicon belly, or another man tried to take a walk to China with 160 Intel processors taped to his body. do not have.
Smugglers typically try to smuggle high-ticket items such as processors and graphics cards. It reminds me of a recent attempt to cancel 70 graphics cards out of a 617-pound live lobster. On the contrary, this SSD smuggler of his chose to smuggle in cheap hardware instead. This is not the first time we have seen M.2 SSDs shipped to China. A recent raid this year detained a man who hid 84 of his SSDs inside a scooter. M.2 SSDs still contain metal parts, making it nearly impossible to get past a metal detector without triggering a metal detector alarm.
Instead of hiding SSDs in packaging, the perpetrators chose to carry the drives in bulk with tape wrapped around their bodies. The bounty seized amounted to her 420 M.2 drives totaling approximately $32,984.94. At $78.53 each, criminals could be smuggling her 1TB or 2TB PCIe 4.0 drives.
What’s more, smuggling hardware from Macau or Hong Kong circumvents the tariffs that the Chinese government imposes on goods. As a result, individuals who hire smugglers can reap greater profit margins when reselling on platforms such as Goofish.
Mainland China has a large gray market for consumer electronics, including computer hardware. So smuggling is unlikely to stop. Meanwhile, smugglers are thinking of more creative ways to get goods to mainland China.