With the many sweet bites, Apple has to nibble on something bitter. According to media sources, Tigard police have busted a gang of criminals active in organized retail crime, which used stolen gift cards worth three-quarters of a million dollars only to purchase iPhones, which were to be sold in Hong Kong black market.
Speaking to KOIN 6 News, detective T J Hahn of Tigard revealed that such an organized retail theft is a bigger crime than drug trafficking. He added that, “This kind of activity makes millions of millions of dollars, into the billions”.
Oregon Police Bust a Racket of Selling iPhones into Hong Kong Black Market
The racket has surfaced after the detectives chased a suspect, who was shopping at the local Apple Store by using a large stack of gift cards.
The detectives, who chased the suspect, were from the department’s commercial crimes unit, who were on their beat at Washington Square mall. They followed the suspect and discovered Apple Store bags in his car.
The police seized more than 470 iPhones with a market value of $290,000 along with $585,000 worth of gift cards; these cards were supposed to be purchased using fake credit cards.
However, no arrests have been made; police are tracking other members of the gang with the help of the suspect and his accomplice in crime.
Notably, in July 2015, Chinese police seized fake iPhones worth $19m in Beijing. In a crackdown, following a tip-off from US authorities, Chinese police have raided a factory in Beijing producing fake iPhones. In the raid, police have seized more than 41000 fake pieces, some of which have entered into the United States. The police had arrested nine people in this case.