A 43-year-old woman hid a six-day-old baby in her oversized baggage. She is now in the custody of the Philippines Immigration Bureau.
Stories of immigrants attempting to illegally enter the United States have dominated news headlines ever since President Donald Trump assumed his position at the White House in 2016. However, in a recent case, it appears that an American woman with legal citizenship may have attempted to smuggle a baby from The Philippines into the country. Airport security at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport took the woman into custody after they discovered she was hiding a young child in her carry-on baggage, CNN reports. According to local authorities, the baby was only six days old.
As per Philippines Immigration Bureau spokesman Melvin Mabulac, the Bureau received a report from airport security officials at around 6:20 am on Wednesday, September 4. The woman, who is currently being detained in the East Asian country, is 43 years old. At the time of immigration, she appeared to be traveling alone and presented only her personal passport to customs officials. It was when airport staff inspected an especially oversized carry-on suitcase that they discovered the baby hidden inside. The woman was not carrying any travel documentation for the infant, Mabulac confirmed.
When interrogated, she claimed to be the baby's aunt - but she was not able to produce any official documentation or evidence to validate this information. As human trafficking is a growing and critical concern in The Philippines, the case has been handed over to the National Bureau of Investigation's Anti-Human Trafficking Division. Further details are expected to emerge following a thorough investigation of the incident.
As per official research into the matter of human trafficking, children are most often smuggled to overseas destinations for the purpose of illegal or black market organ sales. In 2007, the World Health Organization identified The Philippines as one of five major organ trafficking destinations in the world. Furthermore, children, especially young girls, are often trafficked by foreign child sexual abuse criminals for pornography or coerced sex work purposes. Following a thorough crackdown of such disturbing practices, the East Asian island tightened rules and regulations against traffickers and increased protections for victims of these cruel acts with the help of non-governmental organizations and foreign bodies. Should the woman be booked for human trafficking, she could face immense repercussions for her actions on behalf of the Philippine government.