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Truck Driver Strapped 256 Intel Chips to His Body in Failed Smuggling Attempt

Customs officials discovered over $100K worth of Core i7 and Core i9 processors taped to his torso and legs.

July 14, 2021
(Photo: Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department)

Customs officials are used to finding drugs strapped to bodies, but the pandemic has seen smugglers switch to high-end computer processors instead.

As Kotaku reports (via HKEPC), a truck driver was recently caught attempting to cross the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge with more than just the cargo in his vehicle. Customs officials pulled him aside due to how nervous he looked only to discover contraband strapped to his body. They weren't bags of drugs, though, but Intel chips.

In total, the man has 256 Intel processors wrapped around his legs and torso. They were a mix of 10th generation Core i7-10700 and Core i9-10900K chips. If he had 128 of each of those processors, the street value based on Intel's recommended pricing would be around $104,000. So even without a mark-up for the current high demand, you can see why the risk of smuggling these components seems worth it.

The truck driver was stopped on June 16, but 10 days later on June 26 a second truck was inspected and 52 brand new Intel chips still in their plastic containers were discovered hidden between the driver and co-pilot's seat. And earlier this month, an even larger haul was seized at a Lok Ma Chau Control Point. It included over 2,200 processors and 1,000 sticks of RAM, all of which were hidden in the back of a container truck.

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About Matthew Humphries

Matthew Humphries

Matthew is PCMag's UK-based editor and news reporter. Prior to joining the team, he spent 14 years writing and editing content on our sister site Geek.com and has covered most areas of technology, but is especially passionate about games tech. Alongside PCMag, he's a freelance video game designer. Matthew holds a BSc degree in Computer Science from Birmingham University and a Masters in Computer Games Development from Abertay University.

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