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American arrested in Philippines for human trafficking

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/06/19, 11:06 am

Philippine authorities are holding an American woman accused of trying to smuggle a 6-day-old baby out of the country in her shoulder bag. Jennifer Erin Talbot, 43, passed through the Manila airport immigration counter with the baby boy on Wednesday, but an airline staff member stopped her at the boarding gate. Talbot faces charges of human trafficking. Government welfare authorities have custody of the child and charged the parents under a child-protection law.

Why was she trying to leave with the baby? Talbot had an unsigned affidavit from the child’s mother claiming the trip was temporary and the baby was expected to return on Oct. 8, The Guardian reported. The letter said the child would “receive a ‘name and a blessing’” from Mormon officials. “She’s from a Mormon church and they’re trying to get the baby to be baptized and get church recognition for protection,” said Marlon Toledo, supervising agent for the Phillippine’s National Bureau of Investigation.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD Magazine archives, read Jamie Dean’s report on the tension in international adoption between providing a home for children and preventing fraud.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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