Stowaway’s plan to beg in Dubai foiled
Teen found on board flight from China lured by rumour of riches
A teenage stowaway hid in the cargo hold of a flight from China to Dubai with the intention of making money from begging on the streets.
The 16-year-old Chinese boy was found on board Emirates flight EK303 from Shanghai after it landed in Dubai on Friday, police and the airline confirmed yesterday.
He had crouched among the bags during the nine-hour flight, which he told police made for a “comfortable” ride.
Chinese media reported that the boy is called Xu and is from Bazhong in Sichuan province in southwest China.
China Radio International quoted Mian Jinlong, a Dubai-based translator brought in to talk to the boy, as saying the teenager had “risked his life sneaking into Dubai because he heard an online rumour that even beggars in the city can earn several hundred thousand yuan (tens of thousands of dirhams) a month.”
General Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani, Assistant Chief for Ports and Airports at Dubai Police, confirmed that the boy is currently being questioned.
He said: “We found the boy in the luggage section and we asked for a translator to speak with him.
“He had been living in Bazhong province in China and he sneaked onto the plane, thinking he can get to Dubai.
“He doesn’t have ID. We’ve contacted the Chinese authorities to find out how he managed to enter the take-off area.”
Bin Thani said the boy did not have any food or water but was in good spirits when found. He added: “We served him food and water and he told us that the bags section in the plane had been comfortable. “He planned to come to Dubai after hearing about the lifestyle, and he was looking to make money.” An Emirates spokesperson confirmed the incident and said in a statement: “Emirates can confirm that on May 27, a stowaway was found in the cargo hold of flight EK303 from Shanghai to Dubai. “We are co-operating fully with authorities in Dubai and, as this is a police matter, we are unable to comment further at this time." The boy will remain in police custody for the moment.