It is well-known that Apple makes most of its phones overseas, specifically in China. But one former manager of Foxconn, a Chinese iPhone producing factory, has been indicted for pocketing 5,700 iPhones and selling them on the black market.
According to reports, the man, known only as Tsai, took home the equivalent of $1.56 million thanks to his scheme. Factoring in accomplices, the operation made around $2.2 million from 2013 to 2014.
Tsai and his team justified their actions by only swiping the phones that were to be thrown away. Together, worked testing the iPhones for deficiencies. Those that didn’t past muster were pocketed by the group and resold.
Foxconn, located in Shenzhen, has been well known for its poor working conditions–as have many factories associated with Apple and similar tech giants.
The factory, which creates items for Apple, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Motorola, Nintendo and Nokia came under fire in 2010 for a string of suicides in which at 14 workers took their lives.
Since then, the company has installed a “suicide net” to stop workers from jumping off of the building.
The factory was investigated after the incident, and though many organizations found the conditions the workers were forced to endure appalling, it did not lead to the factory closing or many major changes. Reports of suicides have since lessened, with only one occurrence in 2016.
As far as Tsai, he will face up to 10 years of jail time if prosecuted. Reports stated:
“Tsai and his accomplices sold the testing phones, which were supposed to be scrapped, to stores in Shenzhen and made nearly Tw$50 million (S$2.2 million) from 2013 to 2014, said the New Taipei district prosecutor’s office. Foxconn reported the case to Taiwanese authorities following an internal audit and Tsai was questioned after he returned to the island earlier this year and was released on bail.”
President-elect Donald Trump has already begun offering Apple incentives to step away from foreign manufacturing and begin to produce the phones and other products on US soil.
Although Apple has not yet decided whether or not it will do so, it is reported that they are heavily considering it, especially in the wake of recent reports.