…. gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall in recent months by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through… Mexican criminal organizations, which generate billions of dollars in smuggling profits, have enormous incentive to adapt their operations at the border to new obstacles and enforcement methods…

 

 

 

Smugglers are sawing through new sections of Trump’s border wall

 

Nick Miroff, The Washington Post

via MSN - Nov 2, 2019

 

SAN DIEGO —Smuggling gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall in recent months by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through, according to U.S. agents and officials with knowledge of the damage.

 

The breaches have been made using a popular cordless household tool known as a reciprocating saw that retails at hardware stores for as little as $100. When fitted with specialized blades, the saws can slice through one of the barrier’s steel-and-concrete bollards in a matter of minutes, according to the agents, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the barrier-defeating techniques.

 

After cutting through the base of a single bollard, smugglers can push the steel out of the way, allowing an adult to fit through the gap. Because the bollards are so tall — and are attached only to a panel at the very top — their length makes them easier to push aside once they have been cut and are left dangling, according to engineers consulted by The Washington Post.

 

The taxpayer-funded barrier — so far coming with a $10 billion price tag — was a central theme of Trump’s 2016 campaign, and he has made the project a physical symbol of his presidency, touting its construction progress in speeches, ads and tweets. Trump has increasingly boasted to crowds in recent weeks about the superlative properties of the barrier, calling it “virtually impenetrable” and likening the structure to a “Rolls-Royce” that border-crossers cannot get over, under or through.

 

The smuggling crews have been using other techniques, such as building makeshift ladders to scale and overtop the barriers, especially in the popular smuggling areas in and around San Diego, according to nearly a dozen U.S. agents and current and former administration officials.

 

Mexican criminal organizations, which generate billions of dollars in smuggling profits, have enormous incentive to adapt their operations at the border to new obstacles and enforcement methods, officials say...

 

more, including infographics

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/smugglers-are-sawing-through-new-sections-of-trumps-border-wall/ar-AAJJ8Zc