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  • American Woman Caught With Baby in Bag at Manila Airport Tried to Smuggle Him to the U.S.

    The woman was able to get past the immigration counter without any issues, and was only stopped before boarding the plane.
    by Rachel Perez .
American Woman Caught With Baby in Bag at Manila Airport Tried to Smuggle Him to the U.S.
PHOTO BY iStock
  • The woman who was caught and arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle a baby in her sling bag at the airport on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, has been charged with human trafficking, kidnapping, illegal detention, and child abuse. The parents of the infant will also be charged with neglect.

    At a press conference, Manuel Dimaano, chief of International Airport Investigation Division at the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), said the woman, identified as American Jennifer Talbot, 43, hid the 6-day-old baby in her sling bag and was initially able to pass through the Manila airport immigration counter without any issues.  

    As she was about to board her Delta Airlines flight to Ohio, she removed the baby from the sling bag and carried the child in her arms. The crew alerted the authorities after Talbot was unable to present any passport, boarding pass, or government documentation or permit for the baby. 

    NBI supervising agent Marlon Toledo said Talbot had with her an unprocessed passport application for the child. He added that according to the American woman's account, she had to get back to the U.S. as her grandmother was in the hospital and dying. 

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    “She’s from a Mormon church, and they’re trying to get the baby to be baptized and get church recognition for protection,” Toledo told The Guardian. He said Talbot also had with her an unsigned affidavit letter allegedly written by the baby’s biological mother, Maricris Dulap. The baby boy, named in the letter as “Andrew,” was “to receive a ‘name and blessing’ and attain membership within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”

    The baby was also supposed to have a checkup and receive vaccines in America, and would be taken to “meet his great-grandmother before she passes.” Talbot claimed to be the baby’s aunt when she was intercepted at the airport, CNN Philippines reported. The child's travel to the U.S. was supposedly temporary, and that it should “not exceed six weeks.” He was set to return on October 8, 2019, according to the unsigned letter. 

    The baby’s parents, who will be charged with neglect, have not been arrested. The NBI had already contacted Dulap, but had not been able to locate the baby’s father. The child’s mother confirmed that she gave her baby to Talbot in Davao City, and also told the officers she wanted to offer her baby for adoption. 

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    Talbot, described by Todelo as a “frequent traveler,” had previously visited the Philippines on July 2 and August 6, 2018. She arrived in Manila on August 6 and again on August 19, 2019. Officials are still investigating how the American woman was able to bring the baby to Manila before attempting to fly to the U.S. 

    Charges of human trafficking carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. As of this writing, the NBI had already informed the U.S. Embassy of the issue, but the latter has not been in touch yet with the bureau. 

    We're all concerned about our children's safety. Click here for more tips on how to keep them safe. 

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