CEUTA, SPAIN — A 19-year-old woman faces charges after Spanish airport officials say they found an 8-year-old boy stuffed inside her suitcase as she tried to cross the border Thursday morning.
Fátima E.Y was traveling from Morocco to the Spanish territory of Ceuta when border patrol agents noticed her acting anxiously.
After passing her pink suitcase through an x-ray machine, shocked agents discovered the 8-year-old boy cramped inside. He told authorities his name is Abou and is 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 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.
Thousands of African migrants attempt to enter the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla every year.