Smugglers foiled after attempting to hide 70 GPUs in shipment of live lobsters
Smugglers have been intercepted with a 617-pound shipment of live lobsters, which also hid 70 Nvidia Quadro graphics cards, valued at over $70,000,
It feels like tech smugglers come up with ingenious ways to try and traffic illicit goods between borders. We’ve previously seen SD cards hidden in bikes, as well as a woman who used a fake belly to hide tech inside. The latest story comes after Hong Kong authorities intercepted a van, full of live lobsters from being imported into China.
According to The Register, the vehicle was intercepted last week as it attempted to get to the Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. But, what they found was a strange shipment, which contained live lobsters, as well as 70 Nvidia graphics cards.
After the vehicle was intercepted, the perpetrators could not come up with any official paperwork for their confounding cargo. Hong Kong authorities valued the graphics cards at $76,500. But, there’s another interesting wrinkle in this story, the actual graphics cards themselves.
They weren’t even good GPUs
The GPUs pictured by the Hong Kong authorities don’t showcase anything new or exciting like an RTX 4090, but instead feature old Nvidia Quadro workstation graphics cards, as far as we can tell from images supplied. The specific card is reportedly an Nvidia Quadro K2200, which is about as powerful as the over-a-decade-old GTX 560 Ti.
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The valuation of the graphics cards themselves is also fairly suspect, as an aged card, the valuation of them also appears to be excessive.
The heist to smuggle live lobsters and old graphics cards into what appears to be mainland China remains a mystery. Live lobsters are a common enough commodity, but the addition of old graphics cards into the mix just makes things even more difficult to comprehend, especially since the cards can be found locally in mainland China for just 400 Yuan, or just $57, if you go by current market rates on TaoBao.
One possibility is that the smugglers were attempting to dodge China’s 13% sales tax, which has then incurred a surge of smuggling attempts from Hong Kong, which has no sales tax at all.