BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Slovak officials say authorities have discovered a sophisticated manmade tunnel under the Ukraine border that was used for cigarette smuggling.
Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said Thursday the well-equipped tunnel was six meters underground, extended some 700-meter (766-yards) from the western Ukrainian city of Uzhorod into Slovak territory, and included a railcar system.
Kalinak said it was mainly used by cigarettes smugglers, but also likely used for human trafficking.
Slovakia massively tightened up its border when it joined the visa-free EU zone several years ago, and Kalinak said officials have taken “adequate” steps to guard it.
Finance Minister Peter Kazimir has compared the tunnel to those built by drug cartels along the U.S.-Mexico border and estimated the damage from selling untaxed cigarettes to euro50 million ($61 million) a year.