Photo: 12-year-old African teen trying to cross to Spain caught hiding inside a car dashboard

Immigration officials were left stunned after nabbing a 12-year-old boy found curled up inside the dashboard of a car in a suspected smuggling operation.

The schoolboy, believed to be from Guinea in West Africa, was hiding in a foetal position in a pair of dirty shorts. The youngster was stuffed into the tiny space between the engine and the passenger of the BMW X5.

Officers found him after detecting his heartbeat using a special machine. They then reached into the dashboard with their hands at a checkpoint on the border between Morocco and Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla.

The car was ripped apart to retrieve the child. The child was said to have been disoriented and suffering breathing difficulties and numbness in his limbs because of the position he had been forced to adopt.

He was given medical assistance at the scene.

The driver of the Moroccan-plated vehicle stopped by police, a 65-year-old, was arrested and is expected to be remanded in custody after appearing before an investigating judge in the next 24 hours.

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