Ceuta, Spain — A young woman faces charges after Spanish airport officials say they found an 8-year-old child concealed inside her luggage when she tried to cross the border Thursday morning.
Fátima E.Y, 19, was traveling from Morocco to Ceuta, a Spanish territory, when border patrol agents noticed her acting anxiously. “The operator noticed something strange, which seemed to be a person inside the case,” a Civil Guard spokesman told Spanish newspaper El Pais.
After passing the pink suitcase through an x-ray machine, agents saw what appeared to be a human frame. Upon opening the case they found an 8-year-old boy identified as Abou, who told authorities he was from the Ivory Coast.
Two hours after speaking with Abou, agents spotted the boy’s father trying to cross the border into Ceuta and arrested him as well. Authorities believe he likely paid the woman, who isn’t related to the boy, to smuggle him into Spain.
The father, whose relocation application had been denied, told officials that he “didn’t know that was the method” of smuggling the woman was going to use.
The boy is now under the care of Ceuta social services organization El Área de Menores de la Ciudad Autónoma de Ceuta.