Mexican authorities find tunnel at federal facility.
Tijuana, BC - Images from a video surveillance camera led Mexican authorities to a suspected smuggling tunnel under construction in Tijuana inside a guarded federal customs facility at the Otay Mesa border crossing, authorities said yesterday.
The incomplete tunnel was nearly 50 feet long and measured 2½ by 2½ feet, according to a statement from the Mexican military. It stopped about 55 yards short of the border, said Lauren Mack, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The passageway was first detected by Mexican customs officials reviewing video surveillance that recorded people climbing over a wall in a little-used area, said Carlos Ramirez Escoto, the customs agency’s director in Tijuana. That led them to an underground chamber with water valves and a pipe, where they found the tunnel.
The area had been under private security, and the investigation has been turned over to the federal Attorney General’s Office, Ramirez said.
In recent years, authorities have found many tunnels of varying size and sophistication that are built to smuggle drugs and people into the United States. In 2006, authorities found a tunnel under a junkyard owned by the Mexican customs agency near the San Ysidro Port of Entry.