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4 American Passengers Caught Trying to Smuggle 250 New iPhones Into Saigon

All the smuggled iPhones are Apple's newest XS model.

On Wednesday, September 26, customs officials at Tan Son Nhat Airport found 250 iPhones worth a total of VND6.5 billion (US$300,000) in the luggage of four American passengers flying from the US to Vietnam, Zing reports. The passengers could not provide sufficient documents to prove the goods met quality requirements.

According to Tran Ngoc Anh, deputy director of Tan Son Nhat Airport's Customs Office, importing mobile phones requires registration for quality inspection. There is no need for quality inspection if one brings an extra mobile phone, but they're still subjected to customs duty if the value of goods exceeds VND10 million.  

"If a passenger brings more than two mobile phones and the total value of goods exceeds VND20 million, they're subjected to both the airport's customs duty and quality inspection conducted at the Department of Telecommunications. If the passenger cannot provide the documents proving they have registered for quality inspection, they will be fined and the goods are to be deported from Vietnam," he told the news source.

On September 12, Apple launched its newest iPhone models, including the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, which are extremely popular among Vietnamese. The first person to queue for a new iPhone at an Apple Store in Singapore, for example, was a Vietnamese national.

"This is a new product that Apple has just released. There is a very high risk of this type of product being illegally imported or smuggled at the moment, so we have many measures in place to prevent [it]," said a representative of the airport's customs.

[Photo via Zing]

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