A secret tunnel has been discovered at the border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, presumably used for transportation of contraband goods.

The structure was found during an operation held by the State security service (SSS) in collaboration with the Border guards and the Customs committee, the SSS press service said.

The law-enforcers determined that a large quantity of medicines were transported by air from Delhi via Tashkent (transit) to Almaty. Subsequently, the medicines were brought to the border village of Dostyk in Saryagash district of Turkestan region, Kazakhstan. From there, the goods were smuggled through the tunnel to a house in Tashkent district, Tashkent region of Uzbekistan.

The 310-meter tunnel has been equipped with ventilation and lighting, as well as carts and ropes for transporting goods, according to the report.

secret tunnels, smuggling

A total of 1,748 packages of medicines of 107 titles — including Albumin, Remdesivir, Meropenem and others, all produced in India — were seized from presumed members of the criminal group. The total value is estimated to be over 1 billion Uzbek soums ($79,542 according to current Central Bank of Uzbekistan official rate).

A criminal case has been initiated, and several individuals suspected in involvement in the criminal group have been detained. The exact number of detainees has not been disclosed, but four individuals can be seen in the SSS video footage.

Previously, there were numerous reports about the discovery of tunnels between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, used for smuggling goods.