Okay, they might not actually be ninjas, but if you’re firing a 1,000-foot line across an international border (which just so happens to be a river) with a slingshot, and using it to zip-line $46,500-worth of iPhone 4 and iPad 2 devices, I think you at least get honourary ninja status.
The elaborate scheme was concocted by six smugglers to avoid taxes at the border and make a profit re-selling the devices in Hong Kong. The first group would set up on the China side in Shenzen on the 21st storey of a high-rise. Under the cover of night, the group in Sha Tau Kok, Hong Kong, would ignite a tiny glow stick so the guys on the other side would know where to shoot the line. After being secured, a bag would be filled up with a dozen iPads or so, hooked onto the line, and wound down with a big pulley/wheel system in about two minutes. After the package was safely across the border, the guys in Hong Kong would put the goods into a cab, and send them on their merry way.
Although that all sounds pretty crazy, the local authorities that shut down the operation says it’s not uncommon for the area. On top of fly lines, sewer and tunnel smuggling rings have also been found and shut down. One of the men involved in this smuggling operation was apparently already busted in 2008 for smuggling by zipline, and served three years. After only being out another two months, he’s been nailed again. Time to find a new schtick, by the sounds of it.