While U.S. President Donald Trump was trying to build walls along the border with Mexico, new footage shows that smugglers were running drugs under the surface in the longest narco-tunnel ever found.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released footage on Wednesday of the drug tunnel, which it found between San Diego, Calif., and Tijuana, Mexico last year.
“I am thrilled that this high level narco-tunnel has been discovered and will be rendered unusable for cross-border smuggling,” Dept. Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a news release about the discovery.
The tunnel measures 1,313 metres long, according to CBP officials.
Video shows a CBP agent walking down the narrow tunnel, which looks like a slash in the earth with a pipe running along one wall. The sound heard in the video is a low-oxygen alarm, according to Heitke.
Authorities discovered the drug tunnel last August.
“While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, the sophistication and length of this particular tunnel demonstrates the time-consuming efforts transnational criminal organizations will undertake to facilitate cross-border smuggling,” said Cardell T. Morant, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations San Diego.
The passageway includes a rail and cart system, air ventilation, electricity and an elevator on each end, according to CBP. The tunnel itself is 21 metres (70 feet) below the surface and measures about 1.7 metres high by 0.6 metres wide.
Investigators also found a lengthy offshoot to the tunnel that did not breach the surface.
No arrests have been made in connection with the tunnel.
—With files from Reuters