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‘Suitcase boy’ smuggled into Spain reunited with mother

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An eight-year-old Ivorian boy discovered being smuggled into Spain from Morocco in a suitcase has been reunited with his mother.

Adou Ouattara was said to be in a “terrible state” when he was found last month in a bag without air vents at the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

The boy’s father was arrested for arranging his son to be smuggled, but is due to be released on bail.

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The Moroccan woman who carried him in has also been detained.

The boy underwent DNA tests before the Spanish authorities would hand him over to his mother, who lives legally on Spain’s Canary Islands.

“His mother cried. It’s a very beautiful day,” Maria Antonia Palomo, the Ceuta official in charge of juvenile affairs, told AFP.

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The father, who also lives on the Canary Islands, reportedly tried to bring his son into Spain through legal means but his income fell short of the amount required by law.

He has said he did not know the plan to bring his son into Spain would involve a suitcase.

Officials have granted the boy a year to stay in Spain.

The incident highlights the often desperate, dangerous means migrants use to try to make it into Europe through Ceuta, and another Spanish enclave, Melilla.

 

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