Spanish police were a bit surprised when they checked out the luggage of an Ivory Coast woman trying to come into the country from North Africa at a border crossing between Morocco and Spain. They were suspicious because the 19-year-old woman appeared nervous and decided to x-ray her bag. The 8-year-old boy, Abou, was described as in a “terrible state” when he was let out of the bag. It brings a chilling meaning to the old Samonsite slogan: “If you traveled the way your luggage does, would you look as good as Samsonite?”
The boy is now being attended to in Cueta, Spain while the woman and father is now in prison. It turns out that both parents had residence rights in Spain but the boy did not — hence the added carry on approach.
The woman was not his mother but a courier paid by a smuggler.
The priority should be the identification and arrest of the smuggler who could have easily killed this boy with this approach. What is equally striking is that the father did not even accompany the boy and left him in the hands of a smuggler and unknown woman. The idea of returning Abou to the father is pretty frightening despite the fact that the father is demanding to be reunited with his son. At a minimum, all residence rights in Spain should be terminated for the parents. Ironically, if the father and mother are found to be unsuited to retake custody (and no relatives located), the boy might be able to remain in Spain while the parents are forced back to Morocco. However, in the end, he is most likely to be reunited with some family members in Morocco.