Father of boy smuggled in a suitcase escapes jail term

The boy was found in young woman's suitcase when she was crossing the boarder between Morocco and Ceuta

The boy was smuggled into Spain in a suitcase. (Photo: BBC)
The boy was smuggled into Spain in a suitcase. (Photo: BBC)

An Ivorian man whose eight-year-old son was smuggled into Spain from Morocco in a suitcase has escaped a jail term.

The boy was found in May 2015, when officials at the border crossing between Morocco and Ceuta stopped a young woman dragging a heavy suitcase.

When they scanned the bag, they saw the silhouette of a child crouched in a foetal position.

Although prosecutors had wanted the boy’s father, Ali Ouattara to go to prison for facilitating his son's illegal entry into Spain, it was changed to a small fine when they conceded they had found no evidence the father knew his son would be trafficked in a suitcase.

"Neither my father nor I knew that they were going to put me in a suitcase," the boy Adou, now 10, told judges.

Adou said Ouattara, who spent a month in prison, had always told him the journey would be made by car.

Adou said he had found it difficult to breathe whilst in the suitcase, which was used in his attempt to cross the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

Ouattara was ordered to pay a €92 fine.

The boy now lives with his mother in a Parisian suburb, but travelled to Ceuta to testify.

"It's all over and we can begin to resume out lives, together: my wife, my daughter my son and I," Ouattara said, revealing the family would start a new life in northern Spain.