It was a cunning hiding place, but this stowaway gave himself up — when he sneezed. The 15-year-old illegal immigrant was curled up in the fetal position in a suitcase and stashed in the back of a Peugeot 207.

His 17-year-old brother was hidden in the foot well under some blankets.

The Afghan pair were trying to get into Italy when immigration police stopped the Greek driver of the car, Alexandros Lepesiotis.

He had just got off the Sea Trade ferry from Greece, which had docked at the Adriatic port of Bari.

Cops were searching the car when they made the startling discovery.

They later charged the 42-year-old with illegally smuggling people into the country.

A Bari police spokesman said: "We get thousands of people passing through the part every day and like any other immigration authority we do spot checks.

"We have found in the past people hiding in the boot or hiding in the foot well but we have never found anyone curled up and hidden in a suitcase. The poor boy looked so frightened when we found him.

"It just goes to show the desperate measures and the high prices people are willing to pay to be smuggled into Italy.

"This is just one success story but for this there are probably dozens who get through."

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