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Kyrgyz authorities discover vodka pipeline

Oil isn't the only liquid flowing underground in Central Asia.

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Kyrgyz teenagers at an exhibition of Chinese goods in the town of Osh. (Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP/Getty Images)

The authorities in Kyrgyzstan shut off a pipeline carrying alcohol from Kazakhstan after it was discovered last week, the Kyrgyz news agency AKIpress reported. 

It's believed to have carried mostly vodka through an 8 inch-wide tube over a third of a mile under the Chu River, which divides the two countries. The pipeline ended in the city of Tokmok in northern Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz border guards found the pipeline during a routine search.

"We assume that thousands of liters of alcohol were smuggled," a Tokmok police official told AKIpress

Police are searching for the pipeline's operators.

Kyrgyzstan, a majority Muslim country, has a growing demand for cheap alcohol from Kazakhstan, one of the largest grain producers in the region.

Last fall, the authorities discovered a similar pipeline smuggling oil under the Chu River.

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