[News] $60 Million in Camera Gear Seized from Smugglers

[News] $60 Million in Camera Gear Seized from Smugglers

Chinese customs authorities have detained 14 people suspected of smuggling approximately $63.5 million US worth of photo and video equipment. Officers at Gongbei Customs, Zhuhai City, south China’s Guangdong Province, said the smuggling ring has already transported more than 60,000 cameras, 13,623 lenses, 483 flashlight and 1,025 video cameras from Hong Kong to Guangdong from January 2011 to February 15, 2012.

Although there are some Nikon bodies in there, it seems that Canon 5D Mark II and the 600D are the choice models for smugglers. The Canon 5D Mark II can be picked up for $1,854 US in Hong Kong. When smuggled into mainland china, where they sell for $2,418 US, smugglers can turn a tidy profit on the grey market for these untaxed items. So don't worry if you are still waiting for your Nikon D800 or Canon 5D Mark III, they're coming.

via [PetaPixel NDDAily]

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RUSS's picture

:) I'd like my camera collection to look like that!

 Stolen? :)

RUSS's picture

That camera collection:
To you it "LOOKS"  stolen?
To me, it looks to be massive.

being man-handled buy some tax officials?

I'd hardly call what they're doing man-handling.

This is crazy...

so was this gear actually stolen or bought out of country and smuggled into mainland china to avoid getting taxed and turn a couple hundred dollar profit per unit??

They are usually bought in Hongkong, and resold online in mainland China. Taxes on legally imported cameras and lens are just ridiculous, usually more than 20% in China. Consumers pay an extra 8%-12% sales tax when they bought them. Mainland online retellers often sell both the imported and smuggled cameras, and they somtimes tell you the reason why the latter is sold at a significant discount. Experienced buyers often seek out these sellers. 

Can you tell me a place where I can check the serial no online?

Those photos are like gear-porn for me!!!!

Sherwin D's picture

Wonder what happens to all that gear

Probably auctioned for half price.  The government just made $30M hahaha

Minghao Yang's picture

 They would be sent to auction afterward.

Finally somebody who owns more gears than Joe McNally !

Not a single good camera in these pics. Gross

Did you not see the last picture?

Yeah a bunch of Canon junk. There's some Nikon junk in there too.

Don't you just get the feeling the 'officials' are looking at the gear with an eye that says, "my home videos would look great with one of these" especially the last pic.

The smugglers are "lucky".

Before the criminal code was amended, they would have been executed within 2 weeks of sentencing.

Now they will get 20 years in a "reform through labor" camp and probably die there.

So does anyone have any leads on when and where the auction might be? -WAIT, wouldn't auctioning these cameras off be the perfect thing for up and coming smugglers? What better way to double your profit than to buy the gear and 50% off and flip it! 

Road trip (plane trip), anyone? Who's in? 

I'm hitting Hong Kong in May.  And ya, I plan on buying some gear out there.  :)

Wow! wondering if they are gonna bring the stolen goods back or if the officials are going to "auction" them off...would love a chance to get the lens I am looking for at a discounted price.

Matthew Schmitz's picture

I am moving to Hong Kong its official!

where are all the packages?! did they unbox each and every item or was it about to be shipped without the boxes?! if so, now it's a REAL crime!

Adam Non's picture

There's a police impound auction worth bidding ...

If I had half that stuff it would be too much!