Priego de Cordoba, Spain Bundled up tightly in a fetal position, an 8-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast survived several hours locked in a suitcase in a botched smuggling attempt into Spain.
A police spokesman who cannot be identified for security reasons told CNN that the boy — who is now in Spanish custody — was discovered Thursday in El Tarajal, a terrestrial point of entry at Spain’s border with Morocco.
Police are still not sure how long the young boy spent tucked into the pink, medium-sized polyester suitcase, pressed against a few personal belongings.
“He was shocked when we opened the suitcase to see so many people looking at him,” the spokesman said. But the boy is in good condition, he said.
This is the first time they have found this type of smuggling, the spokesman said, in which a child was locked into a container. There have been a few attempts by adults to sneak into Spain by hiding in other types of containers, he said.
On Thursday, police officers in El Tarajal became suspicious when a 21-year-old woman, a Moroccan National, showed signs of nervousness as she attempted to cross the border wheeling the suitcase down the street.
A boy was found in a suitcase wheeled by a Moroccan woman.
“Our officers asked her if she needed help as the wheels began to give in,” the spokesman said.
Suspecting a drug smuggling case, police brought the suitcase in for an x-ray. That is when they found the boy.
He was immediately taken to a state child custodian and awaits judicial process, the official said.
A man who is apparently his father, identified as A.O., was arrested a few hours after the boy was found. The man, who has permanent residency in Spain, awaits formal charges.