Looks like there’s action being taken against China’s grey iProduct market. Just weeks Apple was forced to close its retail stores there as price-gougers became a high-street problem, Chinese customs have detained 14 iPad-smuggling housewives, a report claims.

Customs officials in Shenzhen caught 14 housewives trying to carry 88 (presumably 3G) iPads and 340 mobile phones into China. One of the women had 65 phones strapped around her waist along with another 20 in her handbag. (The report doesn’t say what the phones were, but we have a hunch…)

This is a big business: the women earn around $30 for each run across the border. Meanwhile, China is attempting to collect tax on each iPad carried into the country, even those definitely for personal use.

However, defending against smuggling of this nature is a King Canute style challenge: “Border control can’t fully staunch the flow of a product in huge demand,” writes the Wall Street Journal.