Customs officials in China recently detained 14 local housewives attempting to smuggle 88 iPads into the country. The women were also carrying 340 mobile phones, making the total catch worth about US$143,000, according the the Wall Street Journal.
Apple began selling the Wi-Fi version of the iPad in China in September, so smugglers are sneaking the 3G model across the border from Hong Kong. Women are making about $30 each time they successfully complete a border run.
Resellers have been recruiting locals with clean criminal records to run iPads and iPhones across the boarder into China because they are less likely to be noticed.
Local officials have been conducting an anti smuggling campaign for about a month that has already nabbed over 1,000 people attempting to sneak electronics and other merchandise through customs. The haven’t, however, been able to stop smugglers from getting iPads and other goods into the country.