Teen Caught Digging to EU

Combined Reports

Belarus border guard escorts detained Russian man Ramis Abdulin in Brest.

A Russian teenager has been detained for trying to use a metal cup to burrow under the border between Belarus and the European Union, Belarussian border guards said.

The 19-year-old was detained by border guards as he embarked on his escape to Poland by digging under the border.

"The man tried to tunnel under the security system, and at this fun moment was detained by border guards," a spokesman for the border guards said Tuesday.

"He would have had to tunnel for about a kilometer to get to Poland," the spokesman said. It was unclear why the man was using a cup to dig his tunnel. He also had army rations, camouflage, maps and a textbook on survival.

The man, who faces a fine of about $300, said he was heading for Germany to see his girlfriend, but border guards suspect he wanted to go to France to join the Foreign Legion.

The teenager is not the first Russian to employ this method.

In late 2000, Yevgeny Pechonkin crawled through an 85-meter tunnel he dug to break out of prison in Novosibirsk. A construction engineer by training, he had been made foreman of the prison's building works and had access to the necessary equipment.

(Reuters, MT)