Customs call time on watch smugglers
Shanghai Customs officers have apprehended 18 suspects who allegedly smuggled more than 1,500 luxury watches worth over 210 million yuan (US$30 million).
Ma, 37, found a job at a French luxury goods group after getting a master's degree in France and made the acquaintance of many wealthy customers. He resigned in 2008 and opened two companies on his return to China. He ran a store downtown and smuggled luxury watches to stock his store.
Another suspect, Wang, had worked in luxury watch sales for more than a decade before opening a store with his wife and smuggling watches.
Since December 2016, the two bought watches of Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Rolex from Lin who lived in Hong Kong. The watches were smuggled to Shenzhen and then mailed to Shanghai.
After a 5-month investigation, Shanghai Customs dispatched 200 officers between January 8 and 9 and detained 18 suspects seizing 41 watches. Over 1,500 watches are involved at a total value of 213 million yuan.