The six-year-old boy in the cardboard box. The boy’s father, a foreign resident, said his son was born in Saudi Arabia to an Indonesian mother who was deported for being an illegal resident. Image Credit: Courtesy: Sabq

Manama: An attempt to smuggle a six-year-old boy in a cardboard box across the Saudi borders has been foiled by the local authorities.

The box was placed alongside a suitcase and other luggage in the back of a vehicle leaving Saudi Arabia for a neighbouring country, Saudi news site Sabq has reported. The country is believed to be Jordan.

The father, a foreign resident, said that the boy was born in Saudi Arabia to an Indonesian mother who was living illegally in the country before she was deported.

The parents never obtained documents for him and the father said that the only option for him to have his son leave Saudi Arabia was through smuggling him across the border.

The father was arrested and an investigation was launched.

In their comments, online readers expressed their sympathy with the boy, saying that he was the victim of neglectful parents and difficult conditions.

Most readers called for prompt humanitarian action to ensure that the boy starts formal schooling on time.

Several readers also called for a probe into how the boy and the parents’ marriage were not on the official records.

Customs were also praised for their vigilance and for foiling the attempt to smuggle a human being across the border.

Saudi Arabia, the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula, has a total land boundary of 4,431km. It shares land borders with Iraq (814 km), Jordan (744 km), Kuwait (222) km, Oman (676 km), Qatar (60 km), UAE (457 km) and Yemen (1,458 km). It has been linked with Bahrain via the 25-kilometre King Fahad Causeway since November 1986.