Stow­away’s plan to beg in Dubai foiled

Teen found on board flight from China lured by ru­mour of riches

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Ali Al Shouk @alial­shouk

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.