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France: Plane carrying 303 Indians grounded over 'human trafficking' suspicion, 2 detained

France: Plane carrying 303 Indians grounded over 'human trafficking' suspicion, 2 detained

Two individuals have been detained in relation to an event where a plane heading to Nicaragua carrying 303 Indian passengers was grounded in France due to suspected 'human trafficking', as per the local authorities' statement on Friday.

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Two individuals have been detained in relation to an incident where a plane heading to Nicaragua carrying 303 Indian passengers was grounded in France due to suspected 'human trafficking', as per the local authorities' statement on Friday.

The prosecutor's office disclosed that they had received a tip-off about potential human trafficking victims aboard the flight. The investigation has been taken over by the national anti-organised crime unit JUNALCO, as reported by news agency PTI, citing a ‘Le Monde’ newspaper report. The A340, managed by Romanian firm Legend Airlines, remained grounded at Vatry airport after landing on Thursday, as stated by the prefecture in the northeastern department of Marne.

The plane, which had departed from Dubai, was due for refuelling and was carrying 303 Indian nationals, likely to be workers in the UAE, according to the 'Le Monde' report. All passengers were being interrogated, and the airport was sealed off by the police.

Passengers were moved into Vatry airport's main terminal building, where individual cots were arranged for their overnight stay on Thursday, as informed by the Marne region administration to the French newspaper.

A source close to the case suggested that the passengers might have intended to illegally enter the US or Canada via Central America. An additional source revealed to news agency AFP that minors were among the passengers.

The prosecutor's office is conducting identity checks on the passengers and cabin crew, and an investigation into the transportation conditions and journey purpose is underway. Legend Airlines' lawyer, Liliana Bakayoko, told AFP that the company believes it has not committed any wrongdoing 'and is at the disposal of the French authorities', but would be compelled to initiate legal action if charges were filed by the prosecutors.

Also read: Meghalaya: In a landmark decision Shillong Archdiocese allows blessing of same-sex couples

Edited By: Nandita Borah
Published On: Dec 23, 2023