Couple hides 50 passengers in Amsterdam hotel to avoid quarantine

Written by Staff Writer By Victoria Trevithick, CNN

This story was originally published on November 24, 2016

An Amsterdam man and his wife are being questioned by Dutch police following the discovery of a suitcase containing 50 South African visitors who attempted to board an overnight flight from Amsterdam to Cape Town.

The duo are believed to have hidden the South Africans in their hotel room for 10 days while using regular flights to travel throughout Europe to visit family, but made an unscheduled stopover in Amsterdam to drop off the suitcase and give the room keys to cleaners.

The men reportedly planned to depart from KAA-Amsterdam, one of the city’s largest hotels, on Friday evening, boarding an overnight flight in Cape Town.

The Dutchman, named only as Daane, is a high-ranking manager at a communications company and his American wife is said to be in her mid-20s. Both are from the US state of Colorado.

Migrant problems

The airport alerted police when the cleaner noticed a red glow coming from the suitcase’s luggage compartment, according to initial reports.

Daane and his wife are allegedly part of a refugee-help group in the USA that is due to visit the South African city in the coming days. The pair are said to have returned to Amsterdam after dropping off the other travellers.

The suitcase contained 50 South African travelers. Credit: Courtesy Smits Travel Solutions

It is believed the man and woman stayed at the hotel to avoid quarantine rules at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

Cases like this are not uncommon in the Netherlands, where police often refuse entry to family members or foreign visitors who do not have travel visas to the country.

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