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Flying-iPad smuggling operation busted

Criminals fail to see Hollywood-style story to its end, get busted shuttling Apple goodies over a border via zip line.

Authorities in China and Hong Kong have cracked the case of the flying iPads. In a "Mission: Impossible"-style smuggling operation, iPads, iPhones, and other coveted gadgets were being ferried across the river that separates Hong Kong and Shenzhen via a long zip line, according to translated reports from Chinese media.

zip line demo
A law enforcement official demonstrates how the stash was transported. Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

The idea was apparently to capitalize on the different taxation laws in the two locales and make a mint selling the devices cheaper on the mainland side.

As if written for a scene with Daniel Craig or Jet Li, the goodies were loaded into a black nylon bag under cover of nightfall and sent over a cable line roughly a third of a mile long using an elaborate pulley system. The whole process reportedly took about two minutes.

The video below features a tour of one side of the crime scene.

Customs officials undertook a significant surveillance campaign, which led to a handful of arrests and seizing of dozens of the previously airborne Apple devices estimated to be worth more than $45,000.

Clearly, the smugglers forgot to script the perfect Hollywood ending for their caper. All that's required is a stick of Tom Cruise's exploding gum from "Mission: Impossible" used to dislodge the zip line, which the criminals use to swing away from the scene, letting go at just the right moment to land on a surfaced submarine in the middle of the river.

The good-looking and charismatic scammers then submerge and are transported undetected to nearby Macau, where a long video montage of drinking, gambling, and cash drifting through the air like confetti fades into the credits. Oh well, maybe in the sequel...

(Via: MicGadget)