Atlas Obscura is Hiring! Join us in pursuit of wonder.

Found: A Cow-Smuggling Tunnel Under a Tea Garden

Where’s the beef?

A cattle herd in India.
A cattle herd in India. Yann Forget/CC BY-SA 3.0

On the India-Bangladesh border,* the Border Security Force discovered a smuggling tunnel almost 90 yards long that started in a tea garden and went under the border fence to north Bengal. Its intention, they believe, was to smuggle cattle under the border.

Cattle smuggling across this border has long been a problem—the demand for Indian beef is high at Bangladesh’s cattle markets, and there’s money to be made by smuggling cattle over the border. The border patrol says it has cracked down on smugglers and reduce the amount of smuggling by 99 percent, says India Today. But some are skeptical of this claim.

Most cattle aren’t smuggled through tunnels; water routes are a common way of crossing. But tunnels are particularly hard to detect: one of the only ways of finding one is through intelligence gathering.

*Correction: The tunnel was found underneath India’s border with Bangladesh, not Pakistan.