A 43-year-old U.S. woman was arrested in the boarding area of an airport in the Philippines on Wednesday after hiding a baby boy inside her carry-on bag, Immigration officials said.
The suspect was to board her flight to the U.S. when she failed to present the infant’s travel documents, a spokesman for the Bureau of Immigration, Melvin Mabulac, said.
The airline turned her over to airport authorities, who discovered that she had put the baby inside a bag strapped to her waist and only brought him out after passing through immigration.
“The infant was hidden in the oversized belt bag and she did not declare nor present him to the immigration inspector,’’ Mabulac said.
The baby is believed to be Filipino and about one week old, he added.
The suspect was turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation for questioning – they will now determine if it is a case of human trafficking.
The baby was brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Grifton Medina, Head of the Bureau of Immigration’s Port Operations Division, said the suspect said she was the baby’s aunt.
“She said she was bringing the baby to the U.S. to get vaccinations and participate in some religious rites,’’ he told Manila radio station DZBB.
Under Philippine laws, travel clearance from the social welfare department is required for children below 18 years old to travel alone or with companions other than their parents.
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