The couple, who have not been named, were told Saturday by customs officials at the Sharjah International Airport that they could not enter the UAE yet because they did not have a visa for their son, according to a report on GulfNews.com.
The parents, said to be in their mid-30s, then zipped the boy, described in reports as between 5 months and 1 year old, inside a carry-on bag and got in a line for security anyhow. Carry-on luggage is typically scanned at airports in the UAE on arrival.
Their plan was halted by a shocked security official who spotted the baby in the bag as it went through the X-ray scanner.
“When customs officials saw the baby inside the bag at the X-ray scanner, they were stunned,” a police official told Gulf News. “This machine is very dangerous for anyone, let alone a baby in a bag to pass through.”
The couple was arrested at the scene and charged with endangering the life of the child and infiltration, according to Sun News. The couple admitted to the act under police interrogation, saying they attempted to sneak their son through inside a bag because they “wanted to have him with them in the UAE,” a Sharjah police spokesperson told the paper.
The couple, according to Al Arabiya, had traveled to Egypt so their son could be born there but then wanted to return to the UAE, where they had previously resided illegally.