An American woman has been charged with human trafficking after allegedly trying to smuggle a six-day-old baby out of the Philippines in a duffle bag.
International Airport Investigation Division chief Manuel Dimaano said in a press conference on Thursday that the 43-year-old US woman used a sling bag to allegedly hide the baby while passing through immigration, and did not provide any documentation for the child.
According to CNN, after she passed through, the woman allegedly removed the baby from the bag and carried it to her gate at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Delta Airlines crew contacted the Philippines authorities after the woman couldn’t provide documentation for the child when asked by at the boarding gate.
“She has been charged with a violation of the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003,” NBI (National Board Of Investigation) spokesperson Auralyn Pascual said.
The NBI said the woman allegedly carried the baby from Davao to Manila, before trying to fly out of the country. She initially claimed to be the child’s aunt, then allegedly told authorities that the baby’s mother was an unmarried single parent, but gave no information on whether the child had been given or sold.
The investigation is ongoing.