An American woman was arrested and charged with human trafficking after she was caught trying to smuggle a baby inside a bag at Manila airport.
Authorities say they caught 43-year-old Jennifer Talbot as she tried to carry a 6-day-old baby out of the Philippines that was hidden inside a sling bag. They said Talbot was able to pass through the airport immigration counter on Wednesday with the baby hidden but was stopped at the boarding gate by airline personnel.
The Ohio resident had no passport, boarding pass or government permits for the baby, airport officials said. Talbot was trying to keep the baby hidden while boarding a Delta Air Lines flight to the United States.
“There was really an intention to hide the baby,” immigration official Grifton Medina said by telephone.
Airline personnel discovered the baby and called immigration, who arrested Talbot at the airport. She was later turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation where the baby was given to government welfare personnel, Black America Web reports.
Authorities say Talbot gave them an affidavit at the airport that was allegedly from the baby’s mother and gave consent for the baby to travel to the U.S. However, the document was not signed by the mother.
Since there was no government travel approval for the baby, Talbot was charged with human trafficking. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
U.S. Embassy officials are searching for the baby’s parents, who are also facing charges under a child protection law.