France grounds Nicaragua-bound plane with 303 Indians, 2 arrested | World News - Hindustan Times
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France grounds Nicaragua-bound plane with 303 Indians, 2 arrested

Dec 23, 2023 07:17 AM IST

France Plane Grounded: The flight was carried out by a Romanian charter company and had departed from Dubai.

A Nicaragua-bound plane carrying more than 300 Indian passengers has been grounded in France over suspected “human trafficking”, authorities said as per news agency AFP while two people were arrested.

Indian embassy in France said that they were investigating the situation. (Representational)
Indian embassy in France said that they were investigating the situation. (Representational)

Indian embassy in France said that they were investigating the situation.

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“French authorities informed us of a plane w/ 303 people, mostly Indian origin, from Dubai to Nicaragua detained on a technical halt at a French airport. Embassy team has reached & obtained consular access. We are investigating the situation, also ensuring wellbeing of passengers,” it said on on X (formerly Twitter).

The aircraft was detained after an anonymous tipoff, Paris prosecutors said and it was said to be carrying 303 Indian passengers. The plane had taken off from the United Arab Emirates and a judicial investigation into the conditions and purposes of the trip has been launched, news agency Reuters reported quoting local media.

Authorities were probing suspicions of human trafficking.

What we know so far about the flight

The flight was carried out by a Romanian charter company and had departed from Dubai. It landed at the small Vatry airport for a technical stopover when police intervened.

The passengers were allowed to remain in the aircraft at first but later the airport's arrival lounge was transformed into a waiting area with 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,” police said.

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What is going on as of now as per reports

Several people are confined in the airport which police have sealed off, reports claimed as the investigation has been launched into the purpose of the trip. Local officials said also said as per BBC that some of the passengers were believed to be illegal migrants.

What we know about the investigation

France's national anti-organised crime unit JUNALCO has taken over the investigation, prosecutors said as per AFP. The A340, operated by Romanian company Legend Airlines, “remained grounded on the tarmac at Vatry airport following its landing”, they said.

What do we know about the Indian passengers

Citing sources, AFP reported that the Indian passengers might have planned to travel to Central America in order to attempt illegal entry into the United States or Canada.

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