The smugglers started on the 21st floor of a residential complex in Shenzhen, which is one of China's largest cities and located on the country's coast, just north of Hong Kong. Then, they'd fire said 1,000-foot line using a crossbow, sending it over the Sha Tau Kok River, which divides Hong Kong and China's mainland. Two minutes and a pulley system later and the goods would be on the other side in Hong Kong. The flamboyant smuggling operation was usually carried out in the morning to elude the cops, and the nylon bags being sent over the river were stuffed to the brim with iPhone 4s and iPads. The police weren't fooled forever though, and apparently six smugglers have been arrested, and a bag full of 50 iPhone 4s and 50 iPads valued at around $46,500 was taken, too.
The duty gradient between Hong Kong and the Mainland is probably the main reason that spurs smuggling activities. Electrical appliances, computers and related accessories, mobile phones, vehicles and vehicle parts, marked oil, edible oil and optical discs are hot items which smugglers favour sneaking into the huge market on the Mainland side. On the other hand, cigarettes, illicit fuel, pirated optical discs, counterfeit goods and chilled or frozen meat are popular items in the black market in Hong Kong. The very busy boundary crossing points and ports provide an opportune environment that has been taken advantage of by smugglers. They invariably use cross-boundary container trucks, lorries, river trade vessels and fishing boats to sneak contraband or prohibited goods across the well renowned busy boundary.