HONG KONG: More than US$145,000 worth of handphones and expensive food items were seized from ten children by customs officers in Shenzhen on Tuesday (May 23).
The ten children, who were wearing school uniform and carrying schoolbags when they were caught, denied that they were trying to make money.
They said they were promised food at McDonald's or ice cream if they managed to cross the border into Shenzhen from Hong Kong without getting caught, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported citing local Chinese media.
According to the report, the ten children were among 28,000 students who cross the schoolchild border crossing from Shenzhen to attend school in Hong Kong.
The children's "bulging" backpacks raised suspicion, the customs officers said.
"Customs officers stopped the children and found in their backpacks 90 Apple iPhone 7s, 100 iPhone 6s, 20 Samsung S8 and 10kg of “bird’s nests” - an edible Chinese delicacy made from solidified bird saliva," SCMP said.
Shenzhen’s official online news outlet Sznews.com said the customs officials spoke to the children and explained what they had done wrong.