India France Flight Grounded Most Indians On Flight Grounded In France To Leave Tomorrow: Report

303 Indian passengers have been held at Vatry airport since arriving Thursday from Dubai

Vatry, France:

Most of the roughly 300 Indians travelling on a plane detained near Paris over suspicions of human trafficking will be free to resume their trip Monday, French judicial sources said Sunday.

The Nicaragua-bound Airbus A340 and its 303 Indian passengers have been held at Vatry airport, 150 kilometres (95 miles) east of Paris, since arriving Thursday from Dubai for refuelling after an anonymous tip-off that it was carrying potential victims of human trafficking.

Four French judges began questioning the passengers Sunday to verify the “conditions and purposes” of their travel, and have two days to complete speaking to the passengers.

The judges have the authority to extend the detention, but Paris prosecutors told AFP they expect the plane and its passengers to be cleared for departure late Monday morning “at the latest,” without naming a destination.

The passengers of the flight operated by Romanian company Legend Airlines are holed up in the airport. They include 11 unaccompanied minors, according to Paris prosecutors.

Two passengers have been detained since Friday “to verify” whether their role “may have been different than the others in this transport, and under what conditions and with what objectives.”

Ten of the passengers have requested asylum, a source close to the case said.

Tarpaulin covered the entrance hall’s glass exterior and nearby administrative buildings, while police and gendarmes prevented access.

Individual beds, as well as toilets and showers, have been installed, the local prefecture said.

The Indian embassy in Paris Saturday posted on X that “embassy consular staff” are on site to working with French authorities “for the welfare” of detained passengers for an “early resolution of the situation.”

The 30 crew members were not detained. Some handled the Dubai-Vatry leg and others were to take over for the flight to Managua. According to Flightradar24, Legend Airlines has just four planes.

A source close to the inquiry told AFP that some of the Indian passengers were likely workers in the United Arab Emirates who may be traveling to Nicaragua as a jumping off spot for the United States or Canada.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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