Customs officials at Tan Son Nhat Airport found more than 250 smuggled iPhones in the luggage of four American passengers Wednesday.
The passengers, who had arrived at the Ho Chi Minh City airport from the U.S., were unable to provide valid documents for the phones.
The haul of iPhone XS Max’s, estimated to be worth nearly VND7 billion ($300,000), has been seized.
A spokesperson for Tan Son Nhat Airport customs said: “This is a new product that Apple has just released. There is a very high risk of this type of product being illegally imported or smuggled at the moment, so we have many measures in place to prevent [it].”
Vietnamese regulations require mobile phone importers to register for quality inspections with the Department of Telecommunications.
Importers who fail to do so will be fined and ordered to re-export their goods.
However, passengers arriving in Vietnam are allowed to freely carry a second mobile phone with them if it is for personal use. The second phone is still subject to duties if its value exceeds VND10 million ($430).
Authorities are investigating the source of the phones and the four American passengers’ attempt to smuggle them in.