FRANCE- A plane en route to Nicaragua, carrying over 300 Indian passengers, has been grounded in France due to suspected involvement in ‘human trafficking,’ as reported by AFP. The Indian embassy in France is actively investigating the situation.
“French authorities informed us of a plane w/ 303 people, mostly of Indian origin, from Dubai to Nicaragua detained on a technical halt at a French airport. The embassy team has reached & obtained consular access. We are investigating the situation, also ensuring the well-being of passengers,” the embassy stated on X (formerly Twitter).
France Grounds Human Trafficking Plane
According to Paris prosecutors, the aircraft was detained following an anonymous tipoff, and it was reported to have 303 Indian passengers on board.
The flight had originated from the United Arab Emirates, and a judicial investigation has been initiated to examine the conditions and purposes of the journey, as per Reuters, citing local media.
Authorities are actively looking into suspicions of human trafficking.
A Romanian charter company conducted the flight from Dubai, and upon landing for a technical stopover at the small Vatry airport, police intervened.
Initially, passengers were allowed to remain on the aircraft, but the airport’s arrival lounge was later converted into a waiting area with individual beds.
“The reception hall at Vatry airport was transformed into a waiting area with individual beds to provide passengers with the best possible reception conditions,” stated the police.
The airport has been sealed off, and several people are confined inside as an investigation is underway to determine the purpose of the trip. Local officials, as reported by the BBC, mentioned that some passengers are suspected to be illegal migrants.
According to AFP, France’s national anti-organized crime unit, JUNALCO, has taken charge of the investigation. The A340, operated by Romanian company Legend Airlines, “remained grounded on the tarmac at Vatry airport following its landing,” prosecutors stated.
Citing sources, AFP reported that the Indian passengers may have intended to travel to Central America to attempt illegal entry into the United States or Canada.
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