Sounds like a lot of money to send such a plain ol camera and lens combo with cheap color film around. The case probably costs more than everything inside it.
5 Cameras, each w/ 36exps = $15,000
1 camera w/36exps = $5,000
1exp = $138.88
Assuming he was buying cameras for this, at retail from keh the Silver bodied Canon Ae1 with 50mm 1.8 lens at bargain grade is only $72. (5) of them for $360.
Or at Excellent grade @ $134 each for a total of $670.
$81.33 per exposure at BGN grade, or $79.61 per exposure with excellent grade cameras.
Checking USPS international shipping costs, the furtherest distance I could approximate from me (New York) was to Hong Kong for a cost of $44.40 for 3-5 day delivery. This was based on a box that is 1 foot square at 3lbs. First class mail would only cost $25.71 for the same size and weight.
Seems like he about doubled or tripled this estimate amount.
Probably just an academic wise in the ways of grantsmanship, no?