Chinese teen sneaks into Emirates flight to become a beggar in Dubai

  • A Chinese teenager was caught sneaking on a Dubai-bound Emirates Airlines flight
  • He told authorities he planned to launched his career as a professional beggar in Dubai
  • He said he heard reports that a beggar in Dubai is earning as much as US 71,400 a month

A Chinese teenager managed to sneak into an Emirates plane’s cargo section at an airport in Shanghai hoping for a free ride to Dubai where he plans to become rich by begging on the streets of the prosperous Middle Eastern city.

He was, however, caught by authorities after the Emirates Airlines landed in Dubai following more than a nine-hour journey last May 26.

The 16-year-old stowaway boy was reportedly from Sichuan province, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) said in its article, but cannot be named for being a minor. He stayed in the aircraft’s cargo bay without food and water.

Upon questioning through an interpreter, the boy said he heard reports that ‘professional beggars’ in Dubai are earning as much as 470,000 Chinese yuan (US $71,4000) and would want to try his luck as well. He was also aware that he cannot be prosecuted if caught for being a juvenile.

“I heard there is gold to be found everywhere in Dubai. Even the worst beggar is able to earn 470,000 yuan a month,” SCMP quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, China’s deputy consul general in Dubai, Ma Xuliang, disputed rumors about ‘professional beggars’ earning as much as half-a-million yuan but said the practice is illegal in the city.

The boy is currently detained at a police station in Dubai and is waiting to be deported back to Shanghai pending investigation if he is connected to a Chinese organized crime syndicate.

In April, Gulf News reported that a ‘professional beggar’ was caught by Dubai police in an operation carried out by the Dubai Municipality. The unnamed beggar revealed he was earning US 20,000 (AED 73,500) a month.

“Some of the beggars were carrying passports issued with business or tourist visas. We found that the majority of the beggars had entered the country legally with a 3-month visa, in order to collect as much money as they can during their time here,” Faisal Al Badiawi, Head of Markets Section said in a statement.

The Dubai Municipality official further revealed a beggar could earn as much as USD 2,450 (AED 9,000) per day. The amount could double during Fridays especially if they stand near mosques.