Montenegro’s President Jakov Milatovic has called for a thorough investigation into the discovery of an underground tunnel leading to a court storage area in the capital city of Podgorica. The tunnel, which was found earlier this week, connects an apartment building to the Higher Court facility across the street. The storage area houses case files, as well as a significant amount of drugs and weapons seized during criminal investigations.
Authorities suspect that criminal groups may have dug the tunnel in an attempt to undermine ongoing cases by stealing evidence or to create a potential escape route from the courthouse. President Milatovic emphasized the seriousness of the incident, describing it as an attack on the state and its justice system.
The tunnel, approximately 30 meters (33 yards) long, was discovered after court clerks noticed disturbed items and felt a draft in the storage area. It remains unclear if anything was stolen. While some media reports suggest that weapons connected to a major criminal gang were taken, authorities have not confirmed this information.
Prosecutors are currently searching for six individuals suspected of being involved in the tunnel’s construction. They have already begun questioning individuals, including the president of the Higher Court. The apartment from which the tunnel originated was leased a few months ago, but no further details about the renter have been provided.
Montenegro’s police chief described the operation as “movie-style,” indicating that it likely took months to plan and execute. The discovery of the tunnel has drawn comparisons to high-profile prison escapes, such as the one made by former drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in Mexico in 2015.
Montenegro, located on the Adriatic Sea coast, has been a known route for drug smuggling into Western Europe through the Balkans. As a NATO member and a candidate for European Union membership, the country has committed to combating crime and corruption.