590 Foot Tunnel Near Peru Prison Suspected To Have Been Dug By El Chapo’s Old Cartel
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A 590 foot tunnel has been discovered by Peruvian authorities in the vicinity of Miguel Castro Castro prison - and police suspect it was dug by El Chapo's old Sinaloa Cartel to bust a Serbian drug lord.
The National Police of Peru believe construction on the tunnel - which is buried 33 feet underground - began a year and a half ago after a Colombian national rented a property near the prison.
Locals told police that construction mostly took place overnight, with dump trucks regularly arriving to take away excess rubble.
The tunnel is five feet high and four feet wide, contains water pipes to soften the earth, and is thought to have been dug by hand, La Republica reports.
It is thought the plan was to spring Serbian drug lord Zoran Jaksic from prison, who was sentenced to 25 years last year after an investigation linked him to the trafficking of 800 kilos of cocaine.
Jaksic is leader of the Grupo América drugs gang, which is rumoured to be allied to El Chapo's old Sinaloa Cartel.
The plan was foiled, however, when rumours of Jaksic's planned escape reached officials and he was transferred to the high security Piedras Gordas as a precaution. It's likely work on the tunnel was abandoned after this.
According to La Republica, the plan was to connect the prison to a house 300m (980 feet) away, but only 180 metres (590 feet) of tunnel had been completed by the time it was abandoned.
Víctor Revoredo, head of the Special Brigade against Foreign Crime, told América Noticias police suspected the Sinaloa Cartel was behind the tunnel.
He said: "According to information obtained by the Special Brigade against Foreign Crime, having managed to penetrate this criminal organization, in this case the Sinaloa cartel, managed to obtain information that through this tunnel a citizen of Serbian nationality and a citizen of Mexican nationality."
Police sources told the publication the Serbian prisoner was likely Jaksic, who is suspected to be the main funder of the tunnel.
The Sinaloa Cartel are known to specialise in complex tunnel systems to break prisoners out of jail, most notably their founder Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzmán.
El Chapo's second escape - from Altiplano prison, Mexico - was via a tunnel nearly a mile long.
Susana Silva Hasembank, head of Peru's prison agency, said in a statement: "What we are going to do is reinforce security measures both in the prison as well as in the area around it, and increase the intelligence operations which allowed us to avoid, just in time, a situation that we would have regretted."