An American woman has been arrested and held in the Philippines after airport staff discovered a baby inside of her carry-on luggage as she was preparing to leave the country.
The disturbing encounter occurred on Wednesday morning at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila around 6:20 a.m., Yahoo News has reported, quoting the CNN Philippines.
A spokesperson with the Philippines Immigration Bureau said the woman, identified as Jennifer Erin Talbot, was traveling through Terminal 3, preparing for her flight to the U.S., when officers discovered the six-day-old baby inside her bag during security screenings.
Talbot, 43, allegedly claimed that the newborn was her nephew, but had no documentation to prove this.
“The infant was hidden in the oversized belt bag and she did not declare nor present to the immigration inspector during departure formalities,” a spokesperson with the PIB said.
Reports said Talbot was planning to board a Delta flight to Detroit, with plans to end up in Columbus, Ohio.
The woman appeared to be traveling alone and had presented her personal passport, but she did not have one for the baby.
She was eventually arrested by local authorities.
Officials have yet to interrogate Talbot, as she has requested to speak with the U.S. Embassy first.
In the meantime, the newborn baby has been transferred to the Social Welfare Department’s custody and is currently safe.