Smuggling Busts: Garbage In, Garbage Out
Fresh off news that the feds have busted up an alleged scheme to smuggle $200 million worth of counterfeit Chanel bags from China into Newark (label queens of the world, unite!) comes word that the Manhattan US Attorney’s office has arrested two men on charges that they conspired to sneak illegal, military-grade weapons into Taiwan.
According to a statement released by the US Attorney’s office, Taiwanese resident Yen Cing Peng contacted an undercover agent and asked him to get ahold of a number of high-tech gadgets, including infrared laser aiming devices for night vision goggles, thermal weapon sights, and a fighter pilot’s helmet that targets enemy aircraft while flying high-gravity aerial maneuvers. Peng allegedly asked the agent to ship the weapons using phony documents, and requested that he hand-deliver the fancy helmet to his New York associate Peter Liu. Peng got popped yesterday while waiting to meet the agent in Hong Kong, and Liu was snatched in New York the same day. Liu is scheduled to appear before a judge this afternoon. The two men are due to be charged with defrauding the United States, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit export smuggling.
So let’s recap: We get the phony designer goods, Asia gets the military grade weapons. Another victory for the theory of comparative advantage!