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CPU smugglers resort to Wolf of Wall Street tactics, get caught

Intel Core i9-11900K review
Intel Core i9-11900K review (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Smugglers got caught trying to move CPUs at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in June.
  • The smugglers had CPUs strapped to their bodies with cling film.
  • Other smuggling attempts have recently been thwarted, though they didn't involve attaching tech to a person's body.

It's hard to get your hands on the best CPUs these days, but apparently, for some it isn't difficult to get processors onto their bodies. A group of smugglers recently got caught by the Customs Department of Hong Kong with high-end CPUs strapped to their persons. Another smuggling attempt, which is believed to be connected, saw dozens of Intel processors jammed between the front seats of a vehicle.

In the first incident, two drivers got stopped by the Customs Department of Hong Kong at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge on June 16, 2021. HKEPC reports that the drivers had 256 chips attached to themselves, including Intel Core i7-10700 and Core i9-10900K processors (via PC Gamer).

Source: HKEPC (Image credit: Source: HKEPC)

The second smuggling attempt occurred ten days later at the same bridge, though it involved fewer processors. Fifty-two Intel CPUs were found between the front seats of a vehicle.

Hong Kong Customs reported another smuggling attempt recently, though it did not include strapping technology to anyone's body. Over 2,200 CPUs, more than 1,000 RAM sticks, around 630 smartphones, and a collection of cosmetic items were seized after smugglers were stopped at the Lok Ma Chau Control Point. The total value of the parts from the incident at Lok Ma Chau is close to $4 million.

CPUs have skyrocketed in value due to global chip shortages. People have resorted to a variety of measures to get their hands on the best CPUs and best GPUs, including paying exorbitant prices to scalpers. Some even turned down bribes of $2,500 for the right to purchase an NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti.

The global chip shortage will continue to affect the stock of CPUs, GPUs, and other components for quite some time, according to Dell.

The U.S. Senate passed a bill that will provide $52 billion in funding for semiconductors, but it'll take time for the effects of that bill to kick in.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

1 Comment
  • One wonders where they got all these components lol.