Boy smuggled in suitcase
According to media reports Friday a Spanish court has ordered the detention of a man from the Ivory Coast who allegedly attempted to smuggle his 8-year-old son into Europe in a suitcase.
Spanish police say guards stopped a 19-year-old Moroccan woman who looked nervous as she waited in line Thursday at the land border crossing in Ceuta, a Spanish city enclave in North Africa.
A police spokesman told Efe: “She seemed to hesitate, and it looked as though she didn’t want to come through the border.
When the guards put her suitcase through a scanner, they detected the boy curled up inside.
Border officers detained the woman and, later, the child’s father at the same border crossing.
The BBC reports he woman is married to the father, and both had residence rights in Spain. The court said the boy did not.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported (in Spanish) that the 19-year-old is not related to the boy, and was paid by his father to carry the suitcase.
The boy, Abou, from Ivory Coast, is now in the care of authorities in Ceuta.
The BBC said the boy’s father, also named Abou, had travelled back to Ivory Coast to pick him up, having moved to Gran Canaria in 2013.
“I just wanted to take him with me to the Canary Islands,” El País reported the man saying.
A Ceuta magistrate on Friday ordered the father held on charges of human rights abuse.
Human Rights Watch says at least 4,300 people entered Ceuta and Melilla illegally in 2013, compared to 2,804 the year before.
In February last year, hundreds of migrants stormed the fence in Melilla in one day, with around 100 managing to make it into the enclave.
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 cooped up without food or water, since the container was left unattended over the May holiday weekend.