Tuesday 27 September 2016

Spanish police find boy (8) smuggled in suitcase

Carlos Santos

Published 09/05/2015 | 02:30

Police found an eight-year-old Ivorian boy hidden in a suitcase that was smuggled across the border into Spanish territory in north Africa, an official said yesterday.

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A 19-year-old woman took the case through a pedestrian crossing from Morocco into the small Spanish-governed territory of Ceuta on Thursday, a spokesman for the Civil Guard police force said.

"When they put the suitcase through the scanner, the operator noticed something strange, which seemed to be a person inside the case," he said. "When it was opened they found a minor in a terrible state."

The boy said he was eight years old and from the Ivory Coast, according to the spokesman.

The Civil Guard arrested the woman, who was due to go before a judge. They also arrested the boy's father when he tried to cross the border a few hours later. The father is Ivorian and lives in Spain's Canary Islands.

Thousands of migrants each year risk their lives trying to enter Ceuta and another Spanish territory bordering Morocco, Melilla, in search of a better life in Europe. Many try to scramble over the seven-metre fences that separate the Spanish cities from Morocco.

A picture provided by Spanish Guardia Civil shows an X-ray image showing an 8-year-old boy hidden in a suitcase
A picture provided by Spanish Guardia Civil shows an X-ray image showing an 8-year-old boy hidden in a suitcase

Others smuggle themselves over the border hidden in vehicles and cargoes or try to swim or sail from shores on the Moroccan side.

Earlier this week, a 23-year-old Moroccan was found in a shipping container in the port of Melilla. He was dehydrated after four days without food or water, since the container was left unattended over the weekend.

Irish Independent

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