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Woman arrested for trying to smuggle migrant into Spain in suitcase

(Guardia Civil)

A 22-year-old Moroccan woman has been arrested after she tried to smuggle a Gabonese migrant into Spain‘s North African enclave of Ceuta hidden inside a suitcase, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

El Pais reports that the woman was pushing her luggage cart at the Tarajal border crossing when her nervous body language aroused the suspicions of Spanish Civil Guard officials. They instructed her to open her suitcase, and found the 19-year-old migrant curled up inside.

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The migrant was treated by paramedics for oxygen deprivation, and the woman arrested for immigration-related charges.

Such incidents are not uncommon in Ceuta, an autonomous Spanish city that shares a border with Morocco and has long been a magnet for sub-Saharan African migrants looking to enter Europe.

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Last year, Global News reported the cases of an 8-year-old Ivorian boy found hiding inside a suitcase, and a Guinean man discovered crammed inside the hood of a car.

An 8-year-old Ivorian boy found inside a suitcase in Ceuta in May 2015.
An 8-year-old Ivorian boy found inside a suitcase in Ceuta in May 2015. (Guardia Civil handout via Twitter)

At least 800 migrants tried to cross into Ceuta from Morocco on Sunday by storming a border fence, though most were eventually turned back, the Spanish and Moroccan governments said.

In early December more than 400 migrants managed to force their way over the Ceuta border fence.

— With files from Reuters