An X-ray image showing an 8-year-old sub-Saharan boy hidden in a suitcase. on May 8, 2015. The suitcase was carried by a young woman of 19, which was controlled around noon on May 7, 2105 when she was entering in Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in the north of Morocco.
An X-ray image showing an 8-year-old sub-Saharan boy hidden in a suitcase on May 8, 2015, in Ceuta the Spanish enclave north of Morocco.  Spanish Guardia Civil/AFP/Getty Images

Father of Boy Found in Suitcase at Spanish Border Speaks Out

May 19, 2015

A lawyer for the father of an African boy caught being smuggled in a suitcase into a Spanish enclave said Tuesday his client wouldn't have allowed his son to illegally cross the border had he known.

Ali Ouattara has been held in police custody since 8-year-old Abou was discovered on May 7 in a wheeled suitcase at the checkpoint in Ceuta, the New York Times reports. The lawyer, Juan Isidro Fernández Díaz, said Ouattara, who lives legally on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura, believed his son would enter using an Ivory Coast passport and visa for which he paid. But after learning that his application was denied because his salary fell short of the minimum mandated by Spanish law, he went to Casablanca to find an alternative.

“Do you think any father would really allow his son to travel in a suitcase?” Díaz said. He added that the boy was "just another victim of the mafias" running Africa's human-trafficking networks.

The incident came as European nations struggle to deal with the influx of migrants and refugees attempting to reach its shores via the Mediterranean as warmer weather sets in. A new report revealed that the militant group ISIS makes a fortune in the smuggling business.

Read more at the New York Times.

Boat Migrants Risk It All for New Life in Europe

Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa in the Mediterranean Sea, June 7, 2014.
Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa on the Mediterranean, June 7, 2014.Massimo Sestini—Polaris
Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa in the Mediterranean Sea, June 7, 2014.
A soldier using binoculars to spot boats carrying asylum seekers in the Mediterranean Sea, June 2.
Refugees rescued off a boat and carried onto an Italian navy ship on the Mediterranean Sea, June 7.
Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa, June 7.
Italian soldier carries a Syrian child on a ship after the Italian navy rescued 443 Syrian asylum seekers off a fishing vessel, June 5.
Italian navy rescue asylum seekers
An empty dinghy with leftover lifesavers after the Italian navy rescued asylum seekers off the coast of Africa, June 7.
Italian navy rescue asylum seekers
Syrian refugees on an Italian navy ship after being rescued from a fishing vessel carrying 443 Syrian asylum seekers, June 5.
Syrian refugees sleeping on an Italian navy ship after being rescued from a fishing vessel carrying 443 Syrian asylum seekers, June 5.
African asylum seekers rescued off boats and taken aboard an Italy navy ship, June 8.
African refugees rescued by the Italian navy at night off a rubber dinghy, June 8.
African asylum seekers rescued off boats and taken aboard an Italian navy ship, June 8.
African asylum seekers on board a rescue craft dispatched from an Italian navy ship, June
Africa refugees on an Italian navy ship after being rescued at sea, June 8.
A mother and child on a Italian navy ship after being rescued from a fishing vessel carrying 443 Syrian asylum seekers, June 5.
Abandoned boats graveyard in Lampedusa, May 29.
Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa on the Mediterranean, June 7, 2014.
Massimo Sestini—Polaris
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