Thieves Abroad Love Korean IT Products

The damage from a robbery at a Samsung factory in São Paulo, Brazil earlier this week has been estimated at W6.5 billion after two dozen armed bandits walked away with 40,000 smart devices (US$1=W1,013).

This is not the first time that Samsung has been the victim of robbery overseas. In September of 2012, two cutting-edge OLED TVs en route to a trade show in Berlin disappeared in transit. The products had not even been unveiled yet, and the incident raised fears that trillions of won worth of technological secrets could fall into the wrong hands.

The products were found at a highway rest stop in Germany a year later with no sings of any parts having been removed.

Samsung's nightmare did not end there. In October 2012, 1,400 Galaxy Note 2 smartpyones were lost in storage at a cargo depot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The cost of the loss was W1.16 billion.

LG has experienced similar incidents. In October last year, a truck transporting 22,000 G2 smartphones disappeared in the U.S. state of Kentucky. The truck carrying W15.8 billion worth of smartphones was taken while the driver stopped to use the restroom.

Korean-made IT products are appealing to thieves because they are small and portable but fetch handsome profits on the black market.

The manufacturers say there is only so much that they can do to prevent theft and point out that Japanese and U.S. products are also frequent targets. They now hope to install better programs on their devices to track their whereabouts.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 10, 2014 11:25 KST