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MORE THAN TWO DOZEN Chinese are on trial, accused of smuggling Apple phones and tablet computers into China.
The 25 suspects are accused of not being patient enough to wait for legitimate Apple imports and creating their own market for them.
It is alleged that they managed to import Apple Ipads and Iphones worth $80m and sell them at a web store on Taobao.com, a sort of online mall.
Around half the alleged smugglers are housewives, according to a the Shanghai Daily News, and were recruited by five smuggling gangs.
The online store shut down in April, but it must have done a pretty good businesses as the suspects are also accused of evading taxes to the tune of 54.87m Yuan (about £5.5m).
162,000 Iphones and Ipads were imported by the gangs, and the importers, who posed as consumers and bought the hardware in Hong Kong, were paid between 20 to 30 Yuan, or two to three quid, in commission for each one.
The report says that many of the accused have confessed in the hopes of getting light sentences. Smuggling convictions can result in significant prison time in China. µ
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