Kyrgyz Officials Shut Down Alcohol-Smuggling Pipeline

NPR | Aug. 16, 2013 4:04 p.m.

Contributed By:

Scott Neuman

A new pipeline between the Central Asian republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan was until recently pumping away, not oil though — moonshine.

Customs and border officials in Kyrgyzstan uncovered the “makeshift underwater pipeline” on the bed of the Chu River, which divides the two countries. Officials think smugglers have sent thousands of liters of grain alcohol through the conduit from Kazakhstan.

The BBC writes:

“It is unclear how officials made the discovery, but a search is now on for the smugglers behind the pipeline.

Local media has reported that the pipeline was found just a few kilometres from a border checkpoint.

Correspondents say that Kazakhstan is one of the biggest grain producers in Central Asia and spirits are far cheaper there than in neighbouring countries.”

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