August 09, 2011
Chinese Smugglers Use Crossbow and Fishing Line to Transport iPads, iPhones Over Border
By Chad Love
Here's one from the "I thought this only worked in the movies" files. It seems a group of Chinese smugglers wanting to avoid import duties on smuggled iPads and iPhones used a crossbow and fishing line to construct a zip line for the gadgets between the borders of Hong Kong and the PRC.
From this story on techlandtimes.com:
How best to smuggle iPads and iPhones across the border? Until recently, a crossbow, a spool of high-test fishing line, and some good old fashioned gumption ostensibly proved to work pretty well.
As the story goes, smugglers stood on an upper-level balcony of a high rise building in Shenzhen and used a crossbow to shoot fishing line across a 300-meter (almost 1,000 feet) gap to a low-rise house just across the stream marking the border.
The smugglers then used a makeshift pulley system cobbled together from bicycle parts to transport iPads and iPhones from Shenzhen into Hong Kong "under the cover of darkness," thus avoiding import taxes. Smart? Smart. Except for the whole "getting caught" thing. And crossbows just don't get enough real-world use nowadays, especially when it comes to transporting consumer goods. I asked my UPS driver if he'd consider using a crossbow to deliver packages and his response was, "Maybe. Seems like more trouble than it's worth, though. Maybe if they had a line from the regional distribution centers to the local warehouses, but not from the local places to people's homes. You'd have to make sure people are home first and you cant just shoot crossbows into the side of people's houses. They'd have to have a yard or something. Not worth it."
Check out the video above (it's in Chinese, but pretty self-explanatory) to see exactly how they did it.