Mexican police have arrested eight men after discovering a sophisticated drug smuggling tunnel complete with air conditioning and a lift being dug close to the US border.
The 150 yard-long passageway was found in northwest Mexico less than 65 yards from the US border and close to the California town of Calexico. It was 1.4 yards wide and 5.4 yards below ground with an electric rail for transporting containers, ventilation, lights and air-conditioning, according to Juan Miguel Guillen, director of police in Mexico's northern Baja California state.
Officials discovered the clandestine passage after reports of suspicious activity, including the presence of armed men, at a house in Mexicali, across the border from Calexico. They moved in and arrested eight suspects, found below ground digging the tunnel.
The 2,000-mile border between the US and Mexico is the major gateway for much of the cocaine and marijuana that enters the States. The attempted use of tunnels as a means to smuggle in drugs - and also illegal immigrants - is not uncommon. At least 75 have been discovered along America's border with Mexico since the 1990s, according to Lauren Mack, of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 63 of those since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.