The ongoing CID (crime and railways) investigation into illegal emigrations to the US using chartered flights has revealed that a plane had left for Nicaragua from Dubai on December 6 as well, taking the number of such known ‘donkey’ trips to three.
On December 21, French officials did not allow a plane, the third flight, with 303 passengers, 96 of these from Gujarat, to take off from Vatry airport following suspected human smuggling.
The plane had halted at the airport in France for refuelling. Two days before this incident, a charter had halted in Germany as well on the same flight path.
“During inquiry, we came to know about two more flights that flew with Indians including Gujaratis before France grounded an airplane on December 21. We have confirmed that one flight flew to Nicaragua from Dubai on December 6,” said a senior officer from CID (crime).
The same agents, who are being questioned for the flight via France, were involved in the December 6 trip.
SP, CID (crime), Sanjay Kharat, said that cops have questioned passengers who were booked at the Vatry airport, but no illegalities were found with their documents.
“Their documents were valid, but they planned to enter the US illegally,” said Kharat. On December 24, a court set up at the Vatry airport allowed the plane to return to India. The flight landed in Mumbai with only 276 of the passengers.
The flight before this one had around 200 passengers, including 60 from Gujarat and had a technical halt at an airport in Germany for 10-12 hours. A few among these illegal immigrants may have crossed into the US, while some were in Mexico, a source privy to the development said. He added that the agents who arranged the chartered flights via Vatry and Germany are the same.