SHARJAH // An Egyptian couple attempted to smuggle their five-month-old baby into the country by hiding him in a bag.
The couple arrived at Sharjah International Airport on Friday evening but waited until the earlier hours of Saturday morning to attempt to clear passport control, police said, because they expected the customs officials would be less vigilant at that hour.
They packed the child into a bag before starting the immigration procedures but they were stopped when security personnel spotted the child on the baggage scan.
"They were risking the life of the baby a lot," said a Sharjah Police spokesman. "They said in an interrogation that they had resorted to sneaking him through inside a bag because he did not have a passport or visa and they wanted to have him with them in the UAE."
The couple, who were legally residing in the UAE, left because the mother was pregnant and wanted to give birth at home in Egypt.
It is not clear how the couple got the child onto the airplane without a passport or whether the child was kept hidden during the three-hour flight.
However, the child is believed to be in good health.
The couple have been referred to public prosecutors.
This article has been amended since it was first published. The couple were legally residing in the UAE, not illegally, as first stated.