Clay iPhones were really just packaging, accused tells court

A man accused of selling iPhones made of modelling clay said yesterday the 'phones' were in fact just packaging to stop the boxes they were in from being crushed.

Wong Chi-Kong, 36, said a mobile phone trader had offered to pay him HK$400 each for genuine iPhone boxes.

Wong is on trial in Kowloon City Court on two counts of obtaining property by deception, conspiracy to defraud and assaulting a police officer.

Waitress Pun Ling-ping, 36, is accused of conspiring with Wong to defraud a shop in Causeway Bay on May 15 by selling 21 clay iPhones for HK$113,400.

Wong said that on May 16 mobile phone trader Sze Siu-pan had told him he would pay him HK$400 each for original iPhone boxes.

He had then advertised on the internet and bought 14 boxes from a woman for HK$200 each, Wong said.

He said Sze had told him to put cornflour wrapped in cling wrap inside the boxes.

'I asked why, because I was surprised at the time,' Wong said. 'She said that this was to prevent the boxes from being squashed.'

Wong was arrested as he gave the woman HK$2,800 for the boxes in Times Square, Causeway Bay.

The court heard earlier that Pun had admitted she was Wong's accomplice. She told police that Wong had taught her how to make clay iPhones at his home in Kwai Chung and that he had paid her HK$40,000.

Police seized the cash from Pun's home and HK$150,000 in cash from Wong's home.

Deputy Magistrate Ko Wai-hung yesterday declined to take the clay iPhones out of the plastic exhibit bags because worms had hatched inside the iPhone boxes.

Wong told the court that on May 24 he returned home after he was granted bail. He said that a white solid found in a basin at his home was not there before he was arrested. He said he realised the police had searched his home and that the house was a mess, with smashed bowls and plates.

Separately, Wong is accused of selling 10 clay iPhones in unopened boxes for HK$57,000 to a stallholder in Tuen Mun on April 13.

On April 2, Wong also allegedly instructed For Mei-hing, 60, to sell two clay iPhones to a Hung Hom shop for HK$9,200 - which For did.

The trial continues today.