A boy smuggled in a suitcase was in a terrible state after police saw him from the X-ray scanner. Authorities found the 8-year-old, named Abou, in the Spanish territory of Ceuta by a 19-year-old woman who was carrying the luggage, according to ABC News.
“She seemed to hesitate, and it looked as though she didn’t want to come through the border,” a police spokesman said. “At first we thought that there could be drug packages, but gradually discovered that it was a human body.”
The father, also named Abou, reportedly paid the Moroccan courier to carry the suitcase. The boy’s father lives in the Canary Islands and had hoped to be reunited with his son.
The boy smuggled in the suitcase is from Ivory Coast and is now in the care of authorities in Ceuta. Police said the father had travelled back to Ivory Coast to pick him up, having moved to Gran Canaria in 2013.
“It could have ended in tragedy,” the civil guard said, considering that the child may have spent considerable time zipped up inside the suitcase.
“My name is About,” the boy said immediately in French when civil guards asked the Moroccan woman to open the wheeled suitcase. She had aroused suspicion at the Tarajal crossing into the Spanish north African enclave as she seemed uncertain on her approach to the pedestrian checkpoint.
The boy smuggled in the suitcase appeared on the scanner immediately after the woman placed the luggage on the scanner. The screen operator saw the unmistakable outline of a human form inside, according to Examiner.
Later that day a 42-year-old man from Ivory Coast was detained at the same post. Although the man had Spanish residency papers issued in the Canary Islands, the civil guards asked about his family and showed him a photograph taken of Abou in the suitcase.
The civil guard said the man confessed to trying to have his son smuggled into Spain.
“I just wanted to take him to the Canaries with me,” the father is reported to have said. He was arrested and is due to testify before a judge on suspicion of human trafficking.
The Moroccan woman, identified as F.E.Y., was also arrested.
The boy who was smuggled in the suitcase was checked by a medical team and is now in the hands of child-protection authorities in Ceuta, notes The Inquisitr. They will attempt to identify him and ascertain his family connections.
Every day, thousands of women cross the border from Morocco into Ceuta and Spain’s other enclave, Melilla, to collect goods from Spanish businesses and carry them back into Morocco.