In its final report on Customs and Border Protection’s strategy to address illicit cross-border tunnels issued Sept. 26, 2012, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security said there has been an 80 percent increase in the “tunnel activity” since 2008.
“Since 1990, law enforcement officials have discovered more than 140 tunnels that have breached the U.S. border, with an 80 percent increase in tunnel activity occurring since 2008,” the report stated in its executive summary.
“Illicit cross-border tunnels along the southwest border of the United States represent a significant and growing threat to border security,” the summary stated. “Criminals primarily use the tunnels to transport illegal narcotics into the United States.
The report was done “to determine whether U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has developed an operational strategy to detect and remediate cross-border tunnels, and has acquired tunnel detection technology,” which is “part of its overall border security and law enforcement missions.”
The summary pointed out, however, “the program has not matured to a point where it demonstrates how it will consider the needs of Homeland Security Investigations” with the development and acquisition of tunnel-detecting technology.