“Boy in suitcase” case leads to leniency plea
This boy hidden in a suitcase caused amazement at a border control checkpoint and has also led to a human rights campaign.
Customs officers in Ceuta were stunned when they scanned a small trolley suitcase and saw what was inside.
Police became suspicious of a 19-year-old woman from Tangier and believed she might have been trying to smuggle drugs into Spain from Morocco.
They say the youngster could easily have suffocated in the bid to smuggle him over the border but fortunately, he suffered no ill effects.
A man from Costa de Marfil on the Ivory Coast who was found to be the boy’s father was later arrested.
He apparently lives in the Canary Islands and wanted his son to join his wife and family.
It is believed the woman was acting as a carrier for a substantial fee.
The Spanish Network for Immigration says human trafficking should not be condoned but they do not think the father should be prosecuted under these exceptional circumstances.
They believe this would be “an atrocity” as the man could face the same penalty as organised gangs which profited from smuggling people across the borders.
They said the father appeared to have a proper home in the Canaries, a residency, a working wife and a daughter.