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," according to Sophos.
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."
Okay, so scratch that idea. FOR NOW…
Check out the above video to see a news story about how everything went down. It’s in Chinese, but you’ll get the idea.