6-day-old Baby Found in American Traveler’s Carry-on at Manila Airport
An American traveler was arrested and detained in the Philippines on Wednesday after allegedly attempting to fly out of the country with a six-day-old baby in her carry-on bag.
The 43-year-old woman is believed to have been traveling alone with the child. Although she was able to produce her own passport, she did not have any travel documents for the baby, according to CNN.
Staff at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila found the baby after opening and inspecting the woman’s oversized carry-on suitcase. According to PhilStar, the baby was "hidden in an oversized belt bag."
According to CNN Philippines, the baby was just six days old. The woman claimed that she was the baby’s aunt but was unable to produce any proof.
The case is currently being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation's Anti-Human Trafficking Division.
The Bureau of Investigations has intercepted the trafficking of dozens of people throughout the year at the Manila airport. But earlier this year, the Bureau commenced an investigation into the airport, after it was revealed that some airport employees may have been assisting in trafficking. Three employees were suspended this summer after it was found that they were working with traffickers, according to a government press release.
In 2018, the U.S. Department of State said that “the government identified 1,839 potential victims of trafficking, of whom 1,422 were females and 410 were children” in the Philippines.