France grounds plane over human trafficking suspicion

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France grounds plane over human trafficking suspicion

| Updated: December 24, 2023 09:10

France grounded a Nicaragua-bound plane that had more than 300 Indian passengers over suspected human trafficking.

According to the Paris Public Prosecution Office, possible suspicions of human trafficking are being investigated by a specialised unit that focuses on organised crime. Two people have been detained for questioning.

The Times of India, citing news agency AFP, reported that the plane, which had taken off from the United Arab Emirates, had passengers who were “likely to be victims of human trafficking.”

It was detained following an anonymous tipoff, the Paris public prosecutor’s office told AFP.

The Indian embassy in France confirmed that the authorities are investigating the situation.

“French authorities informed us of a plane carrying 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 Indian embassy was quoted as saying on Twitter.

According to the TOI report, prosecutors said that the investigation had been assumed by the national anti-organised crime unit, JUNALCO.

The A340, flown by Romanian airline Legend Airlines, “remained grounded on the tarmac at Vatry airport following its landing,” according to the prefecture in the northeastern department of Marne.

According to the statement, the aircraft was carrying 303 Indian nationals and needed fuel.

The reception area at Vatry Airport was converted into a waiting space that has beds to accommodate passengers. 

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