Thai student jailed for smuggling 20 iPhones worth $25,700

By Ngoc Truong   April 16, 2024 | 11:17 pm PT
Thai student jailed for smuggling 20 iPhones worth $25,700
Natus Temmaythawittayalert stands before the Da Nang People's Court, April 16, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Trang Chi
A Thai man was sentenced to four years in jail in Da Nang for trying to smuggle 20 iPhones through customs.

Natus Temmaythawittayalert, 23, was sentenced to prison by the Da Nang People's Court on Tuesday for smuggling.

Natus, who ran a phone shop in Thailand, was texted by a person named Do Rrik in September 2023, looking to buy 20 iPhones 15 Pro Max, with the delivery address in Vietnam.

Natus spent over ฿1 million ($27,218) from his own pocket and agreed to sell the phones to Rrik at ฿56,000 each.

Natus then brought the phone directly from Thailand to Vietnam through air routes. To evade customs upon entering Da Nang, Natus opened the seals and placed the phones and their packages separately.

He masqueraded the goods by putting the phone packages in boxes and mixing them with snacks, while the phones were wrapped in multiple layers of plastic sheets and put inside a bag.

On Sept. 23 last year, Natus brought 20 phones on a plane flying to Thailand to the Da Nang Airport. He only placed his suitcases and the boxes containing the phone packages through the scanners, while the phones were left inside the bag that he carried with him, without informing customs.

Upon inspection, customs authorities suspected Natus to be smuggling goods and demanded a check. Natus was accused of smuggling 20 phones worth over VND654 million ($25,783).

At the court, Natus said he was still a student, and when someone wanted to buy the iPhones, he accepted their request due to greed.

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