Teenager vaulted over airport fence and hid on plane to Dubai
Chinese youngster believed he could earn thousands as a beggar in the wealthy city
A Chinese teenager in search of the high life managed to travel to the United Arab Emirates after hiding in the cargo hold of a passenger plane.
The 16-year-old from Sichuan province vaulted over fences at Shanghai's Pudong airport and concealed himself in the hold of an Emirates plane waiting on the tarmac, successfully evading a security guard along the way.
The stowaway, identified by China's official Xinhua News Agency only as Xu, was not discovered until the Airbus A380 landed in Dubai almost ten hours later.
Xu apparently told investigators he wanted to make his fortune as he had heard that beggars in the city could make 470,000 yuan (£49,300) a month.
Social media posts claiming that beggars in Dubai make up to 9,000 dirham (£1,700) every day have recently gone viral in China, says the People's Daily. However, Ma Xuliang, from the Chinese Consulate in the city, told the newspaper that such rumours are baseless as the United Arab Emirates "has strict laws banning begging".
Xu's current status is unknown, but an interpreter in Dubai told the People's Daily that the teenager could be deported and banned from returning to the UAE.
A spokesperson for Emirates confirmed that a stowaway had been discovered on board flight EK303 from Shanghai to Dubai. The airline said it was "co-operating fully" with authorities, adding: "As this is a police matter we are unable to comment further at this time."