A 19-year-old woman was caught attempting to smuggle an 8-year-old boy out of West Africa in a suitcase, the NY Daily News reports.

The boy, who told authorities his name was Abou, was discovered when an X-ray scanner revealed the outline of the child in the luggage, prompting border control agents to detain the woman and the boy’s father, who crossed the same border two hours later.

The woman, the Daily News reports, is not related to the boy. The child’s father, originally from the Ivory Coast, now lives in Spain’s Canary Islands.

The 19-year-old woman took the luggage across the border from Morocco to Ceuta, a Spanish-governed territory in Northern Africa. She seemed nervous and reluctant to cross the border, check point agents said, so they x-rayed her suitcase.

“The operator noticed something strange, which seemed to be a person inside the case,” a Civil Guard police spokesman said.

The boy is currently in Spanish child protective services. His father recently applied for a “family reunification,” but was denied, the site notes.

According to a 2014 UN Refugee Agency report, “unaccompanied children and women from Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria are highly vulnerable to sex trafficking and forced labor in Morocco.”

You can read more about human trafficking here.

SOURCE: NY Daily News | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter

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