MANILA (Reuters) – An American woman is facing human trafficking and kidnapping charges in the Philippines, authorities said, after she was caught trying to smuggle a newborn baby out of Manila’s main airport on a flight bound for the United States.
Jennifer Talbot, from Ohio, managed to take the 6-day-old boy through passport control by concealing him in a baby sling across her chest, according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Philippines top law-enforcement agency.
Surveillance camera footage from Wednesday showed her removing the sling and revealing the infant before she passed through security checks into the departures area.
Airport officials were alerted when Talbot, 43, failed to produce a boarding pass or identify documents for the baby while at the gate trying to board her flight.
The NBI said the baby’s 19-year-old biological mother had wanted the boy adopted and was aware Talbot intended to take the baby to the United States.
Talbot could be charged under human trafficking and kidnapping laws because she had no written consent from the mother, whom she met online, and failed to declare the child to immigration authorities, the NBI said.
Talbot made no comment when she appeared at a news conference on Thursday, dressed in orange prison garb. She faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Reporting by Martin Petty and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Paul TaitOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.