Spain grants eight-year-old ‘Suitcase Boy’ temporary residency permit

Child from Ivory Coast may soon be reunited with his mother on island of Fuerteventura

Adou's parents in an interview with Efe news agency.
Adou's parents in an interview with Efe news agency.Carlos de Saá (EFE)

Adou, the eight-year-old boy from Ivory Coast who was caught being smuggled across the border into Spain inside a suitcase, has been granted a temporary residency permit.

Immigration authorities decided to give the child a one-year authorization due to his exceptional personal circumstances, said a government spokesperson on Thursday.

The father said he paid a mafia around €5,000 to get the child across the border

The notice has been sent to the center in the city of Ceuta where the child has been held since May 7, when border agents at the Tarajal crossing spotted him as the piece of luggage went through a security scanner.

The security scanner at the Tarajal border check detected the child inside a suitcase.
The security scanner at the Tarajal border check detected the child inside a suitcase.EFE

This permit will allow Adou to leave the center and be reunited with his mother, though not before DNA tests confirm their relationship. Lucie Ouattara has been living in Puerto del Rosario, on the Canary island of Fuerteventura, since 2006.

It was the boy’s father, who also lives in Fuerteventura, who allegedly paid a human trafficking ring to help bring the boy into Spain, as he could not legally apply for family reunification due to a shortfall in his monthly income of €41.

Ali Outara, who was detained at the border crossing when he showed up to pick up his son from the mafia, said he paid around €5,000 to get the child across, but did not know in advance that he would be hidden inside a suitcase.

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