Beijing : Chinese authorities have uncovered a “professional” tunnel dug by smugglers to ferry goods from the mainland to Hong Kong, media reports said.
The concrete tunnel, equipped with lights, vents, steel reinforcements and even rails, started under a garage near the Chinese city of Shenzhen and stretched for 40 metres under a river and into a village in Hong Kong, a state-run news website reported.
Authorities believe gangs intended to use it to send mobile phones and electronic goods to Hong Kong. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has different tariffs from the mainland, and smugglers could make huge profits by avoiding border fees and taxes, the reports said.
The tunnel was discovered last week in Changling village on the outskirts of Shenzhen. Local media reported that a resident had complained about drilling noises that she assumed were part of a renovation project.
Officials described the tunnel as a professional job, estimated to have cost almost $500,000 to build. The tunnel was about 20 metres short of its intended destination, a village on the Hong Kong side of the frontier.
The tunnel stood about 0.8 metres wide and 1 metre high, just big enough for an adult to crawl through.
The authorities destroyed the tunnel yesterday and a man has been arrested.