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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Mystery of stranded airport boy
By Waliur Rahman
BBC News, Dhaka

Aloysius Abacha
The circumstances of the boy's arrival are still being clarified (Picture by FocusBangla)
A Bangladeshi court has handed over an 11-year-old Nigerian boy to a charity after he was apparently deserted at the country's international airport.

Efforts by the authorities to locate the boy's guardians or parents have not so far been successful.

Aloysius Abacha told immigration officers at the airport that he arrived in the country on Sunday with his aunt while they were in transit to London.

But police say that they have failed to trace any such woman.

The boy was discovered at the arrival lounge of the busy airport by security guards, who handed him over to immigration officers.

Immigration officer Muntasirul Islam quoted him as saying that his aunt's name was Rosemary.

The boy told the officers that he was going with her to London because his parents lived there.

'A mystery'

"But we checked our CCTV footage which suggested that he came to the arrival lounge alone," Mr Islam told the BBC.

"The passenger lists of the flights that landed at the airport on that day included no such names.

"We have no clue as to how he came to Bangladesh. Everything surrounding him remains a mystery to us," he said.

The court in Dhaka said that the boy was being handed over to the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) with the aim of keeping him in safe custody.

"The condition of the boy seems to be alright, although he is a bit mentally traumatised because he knows no one in a foreign land," BNWLA spokeswoman Salma Ali said.

She said that while the circumstances of the boy's arrival in Dhaka were still being clarified, he was being treated as a "victim" and would be sympathetically dealt with.




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