An American woman has been charged with human trafficking after Phillipine airline officials found a six-day-old baby in her bag.
Philippine officials have charged an American woman for human trafficking alleging she attempted to carry a six-day-old baby out of the country hidden inside a shoulder bag.
Jennifer Talbot, 43, passed through airport immigration without declaring the baby boy but was intercepted at the boarding gate by airline personnel, according to local media.
After discovering the baby, airline staff called immigration personnel, who arrested Ms Talbot at the airport.
She was later turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation and the baby was given to government welfare.
Deputy spokesperson for the National Bureau of Investigation, Atty Auralyn Pascual, said Ms Talbot has been charged with violations of the Anti-Trafficking Person’s Act of 2003.
“Ms Talbot passed through the immigration counter without declaring the baby, so you know they did not see the baby because she was carrying the baby in a sling bag,” she told Associated Press.
“They did not notice or they were surprised when they learned that a baby was inside the sling bag."
Ms Pascual said that based on the instructions on the bag, the baby should be carried in the front and the head of the baby should be in an upright position so you can see the baby.
“But then the baby was not carried that way, so there was really an intention to conceal and to sneak the baby out.”
The National Bureau of Investigation said Ms Talbot presented an affidavit, allegedly from the baby’s mother, giving consent for the baby to travel to the United States but it had not been signed.
Ms Talbot, who hails from Ohio, was unable to produce any passport, boarding pass or government permits for the baby.
“There was really an intention to hide the baby,” immigration official Grifton Medina said.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
US Embassy officials have been notified of her arrest and authorities are now searching for the baby's parents, who could be charged under a child protection law.