The former Foxconn manager has been indicted by Taiwanese officials for stealing over 5,000 Apple units estimated at $1,5 million. Following the iPhone theft, the employee supposedly sold the products in China.
According to the Taiwanese authorities, the Foxconn manager also had eight accomplices. Because of his position in the company, the suspect that goes only by Tsai, had access to multiple units within the testing department. The operation took off in 2013 and went on undetected for two years. During this time, Tsai and his accomplices were able to smuggle 5,700 iPhones out of the factory and consequently sell them for their own benefit.
The only thing is that the iPhone 5 and 5s units were only designed for testing purposes and not meant for sale. After the testing cycle, the products were reported as scrapped.
Former Foxconn Manager’s Indictment
The operation through which Tsai and eight others made themselves richer went undetected for two years. However, the theft was exposed recently during an internal audit. As a result, according to Agence France-Presse, Tsai was brought in for questioning earlier this year. Nevertheless, he was able to post bail and has been consequently released.
More importantly is the fact that the accusations involve a breach of trust. For this, the former Foxconn manager could spend his next 10 years behind bars. However, there is no information at the moment on the accomplices’ charges.
Foxconn is currently Apple’s largest supplier. When the iPhone 6 was set to flood the markets, Apple requested 4 million units in advanced orders right after the smartphone was announced. In order to keep up and meet the demand, Foxconn had to speed up the production and ultimately ended by making 500,000 iPhones per day.
The former Foxconn manager’s indictment could damage the company’s relationship with the California-based giant. The incident does not directly affect the units delivered, but it represents a public relation issue.
Moreover, Foxconn has already gained attention and attracted severe criticism in the past in relation to employee misconduct and multiple labor disputes. Moreover, several cases of suicide are associated with the company’s overworking its manpower.
Ultimately, the scandals, the recent Foxconn manager indictment and Trump’s desire to persuade Apple to move production to the U.S. only applies even more pressure on the Taiwanese company. As of yet, Foxconn’s largest customer, Apple, has not commented on Tsai’s indictment.
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