China teen hides in cargo hold of plane for 9-hour flight to Dubai, hoping to make a fortune in the city

The Emirates Terminal at Dubai International Airport.
The Emirates Terminal at Dubai International Airport.PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI (AFP) - A Chinese teenager hid in the cargo hold of an Emirates airliner during a nine-hour flight to Dubai where he hoped to make a fortune, describing the journey as "comfortable", reports said on Wednesday (June 1).

The 16-year-old stowaway was found after the flight from Shanghai landed in Dubai last Friday, the English-language daily 7Days reported citing police.

"He told us that the bags section in the plane had been comfortable," said Dubai's assistant police chief for ports and airports, General Ahmed bin Thani. "He planned to come to Dubai after hearing about the lifestyle, and he was looking to make money."

Speaking through a translator, the stowaway from Bazhong in south-west China said he heard an online rumour that "even beggars" can make good money in Dubai, the paper said citing Chinese media.

It was unclear how the teenager, who remains in custody in the Gulf emirate, got into the cargo hold, which is usually pressurised and temperature-controlled, unlike wheel wells where stowaways risk death due to freezing temperatures and a lack of oxygen.