Two men are facing jail time after trying to smuggle GPUs and, uh, live lobsters into China

Warcraft sea monster.
Turns out there are no iconic video game lobsters. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Customs officials recently arrested two men in Hong Kong in an "anti-smuggling operation." What were they trying to smuggle, you ask? Ten-year-old GPUs and over 600 lbs of live lobsters, allegedly.

In late April, Hong Kong customs officers reported (via PCMag) that they seized "about 280 kilograms of unmanifested live lobsters and 70 pieces of unmanifested high-value computer display cards" from a van declared empty at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port. Both the driver and passenger were arrested and taken into custody.

The suspects were likely looking to offload the components and shellfish in Macau. As you can see from the photos, the lobsters and GPUs were concealed in unmarked packaging.

The GPUs in question were ID'd as Nvidia Quadro K2200s, which launched in 2014 and retail for $160 a pop. I wonder why someone would risk smuggling these, considering these now ancient graphics wouldn't be exactly good for either crypto mining or gaming these days. 

Customs officials said the investigation is ongoing and have estimated the market value of undeclared components and crustaceans to be "about  $600,000," which I'm assuming is HKD. Or else we are looking at one heck of a markup on decade-old GPUs, though the price of lobster has increased in China; I'm not quite sure how the agency got to that figure. Then again, I haven't really shopped for any black-market GPUs recently. 

This is not the first time customs agents have foiled GPU smugglers' attempts to enter China. In 2021, the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department seized 300 CMP 30HX cards from a fishing boat with an estimated street value of $217,000.

And who could forget about the infamous CPU Mommy, who pretended to be pregnant and hid 200 Alder Lake CPUs inside a prosthetic belly?

If the two suspects are found guilty of smuggling, they could face up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $2 million.


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Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.