MANILA, PHILIPPINES — An Ohio woman who attempted to carry a 6-day-old baby out of the Philippines hidden inside a sling bag has been arrested at Manila’s airport and charged with human trafficking, officials said Thursday.
The National Bureau of Investigation said 43-year-old Jennifer Talbot from Ohio was able to pass through the Manila airport immigration counter on Wednesday without declaring the baby but was intercepted at the boarding gate by airline personnel.
Talbot, from Ohio, was unable to produce any passport, boarding pass or government permits for the baby, according to a statement from airport officials.
The bureau said in a statement Thursday that Talbot presented an affidavit, allegedly from the baby’s mother, giving consent for the baby to travel to the U.S., but it had not been signed by the mother.
Officials said no government travel approval had been issued for the baby, prompting them to file human trafficking charges against her. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Authorities are now searching for the baby’s parents, who have been charged under a child protection law.