The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) has arrested a 43-year-old Thomastown man for attempting to illegally bring a batch of 6000 prohibited weapons into the country, including a batch of fake iPhones, purportedly engineered to deliver electric shocks.
The ACBPS published a photo of one of the devices (which resemble earlier models of the smartphone), with instructions attached, describing it as the “iPhone 4 super ultra electronic thin riot”.
The Service also released a joint press release with the Victoria Police about the incident, which reveals the ACBPS intercepted a shipment from China at the Melbourne Container Examination Facility, following intelligence passed on by Victoria Police, which in turn had been alerted to the shipment by a tip-off from a member of the public.
X-rays revealed irregularities and a more thorough search unearthed the weapons – including knuckledusters, electric shock devices, extendable batons and the aforementioned fake iPhones – which were then seized. Accordingly, ACBPS officers, with support from Victoria Police, executed a managed delivery to the consignee’s address.
“This fantastic result comes after a diligent member of the community had the foresight to inform police of their knowledge,” says Victoria Police Inspector Darren Franks, in the ACBPS press release, which also notes that the maximum penalty for an offence of this nature is a fine of up to $425,000 and/or up to 10 years in jail.
A spokeswoman for the ACBPS couldn’t confirm whether or not the police had tested out the fake phones. Nor did she reveal if it was known where they were due to be sold.