AN AMERICAN woman was caught after allegedly trying to smuggle a newborn baby boy out of the Philippines by hiding him in her carry-on luggage.
Jennifer Talbot, 43, from Ohio, had checked in for a flight to the US when airport officers in Manila discovered the undocumented baby inside "an oversized belt bag" around her waist.
She tried to get through Ninoy Aquino International Airport security and immigration checks but police pounced as she sat in the departure area this morning.
Talbot is now being questioned by police while they check the identity of the infant and how she came to have him.
STUFFED IN BAG
Bureau of Immigration deputy spokesperson Melvin Mabulac said the baby boy, believed to be a six-day-old Filipino, does not have proper documents or a plane ticket.
He said that staff from Delta Airlines alerted airport police when Talbot had checked in.
Talbot was held by the Bureau of Immigration and later turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation for questioning.
The undocumented baby was taken to the Department of Social Welfare and Development while investigations are on-going.
Immigration chief Melvin Mabulac said: ''American citizen was supposed to leave the country for the United States when airport officers at Naia Terminal 3 discovered the undocumented infant in her bag around 6:20 a.m.''
Mr Mabulac said the baby was hidden in an ''oversized belt bag'' and ''was not declared nor presented to the immigration inspector during departure formalities''.
Mr Mabulac said they could not confirm if Talbot is the mother or guardian of the baby since authorities did not find any travel document to indicate the infant’s information.
He added: ''The suspect was not able to provide any documents showing she had the authority to take the baby onboard the plane.''
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The baby was in ''good health'' and medics are now carrying out checks to confirm the nationality and exact age.
Talbot has been detained for questioning.
Mr Mabulac added: ''We cannot identify the child because there is no travel document so other departments will investigate this. The NBI will also look into other violations.''
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