US woman charged with human trafficking in Philippines

US woman charged with human trafficking in Philippines
Copyright 2019 CNN
The Philippines National Bureau of Investigation has charged a 43-year-old American woman, shown standing in the background, with human trafficking after a baby was discovered in her carry-on luggage at the Manila airport.

An American woman has been charged with human trafficking after allegedly trying to smuggle a six-day-old baby out of the Philippines.

At a press conference by the Philippines National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Thursday, International Airport Investigation Division chief Manuel Dimaano said the 43-year-old Jennifer Talbot had used a sling bag to allegedly hide the baby while passing through immigration, and did not provide any documentation for the child.

Dimaano said that after immigration, Talbot allegedly removed the baby from the bag and was carrying it when she tried to board her Delta Airlines flight at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Philippines authorities were contacted when she couldn’t provide documentation for the child when asked by Delta Airlines crew at the boarding gate.

“She has been charged with a violation of the Anti-trafficking in Persons Act of 2003,” NBI spokesperson Auralyn Pascual said.

“The child’s situation must have been very difficult during the time that he was put inside that bag.”

Dimaano said the mother had been contacted by authorities and would be charged. Police have not been able to find the child’s father, he added.

The Philippines Bureau of Immigration first announced on Wednesday that it had detained Talbot. CNN Philippines reported that when discovered, she claimed to be the child’s aunt.

The NBI said Talbot allegedly carried the baby from Davao to Manila, before attempting to fly out of the country. She allegedly told authorities that the baby’s mother was an unmarried single parent, but gave no information on whether the child had been given or sold.

Investigations into the case are ongoing.

CNN’s Jinky Jorgio and Stella Ko contributed to this article.