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US woman who hid baby in bag charged with human trafficking

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Media captionJennifer Talbot was arrested for attempting to smuggle a baby out of the Philippines

A US woman has been charged with human trafficking in the Philippines after she allegedly attempted to smuggle a newborn baby out of the country.

Jennifer Talbot, 43, was arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Wednesday.

A six-day-old boy was reportedly found in her carry-on bag as she attempted to board a plane to the US.

Authorities allege that Ms Talbot did not declare the baby to immigration officials.

The Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) alleges that Ms Talbot intended to "conceal and sneak the baby out".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Jennifer Talbot was arrested at at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila

The baby's mother and father have been charged under a child protection law, authorities said. The boy has been placed in the custody of social services.

Ms Talbot, from Ohio, was not able to provide a boarding pass or any documentation for the baby, the agency said.

Image copyright Photo courtesy of Bureau of Immigration
Image caption Ms Talbot was stopped by airport officials as she attempted to board a Delta Air Lines flight to the US

Wearing an orange shirt and in handcuffs, Ms Talbot attended a news conference on Thursday, when the charges against her were announced. She made no comment.

If found guilty, she could face life in prison, Manuel Dimaano, head of the NBI's airport division, told reporters.

US Embassy officials have been informed of Ms Talbot's arrest, the Associated Press reported.

Following her arrest, Ms Talbot did present a document which she claimed gave her consent to take the baby to the US, the NBI said.

But the document was not signed by the baby's mother, the agency said.

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