Politics

276 Indians return home after detention in France over human trafficking allegations

New Delhi, Dec 26 (EFE).- A plane with 276 passengers landed in Mumbai on Tuesday after being held for four days in France following human trafficking allegations.

Visuals shared on X (formerly Twitter) showed passengers, all Indian nationals, sitting at the Mumbai airport.

The Nicaragua-bound chartered flight, operated by Romanian Legend Airlines, had 303 passengers on board when it stopped at the French Vatry airport, 140 km east of Paris, for a technical stopover on its way from Dubai on Dec. 21.

The Airbus A340 was prevented from taking off after French authorities received an anonymous tip-off that the passengers on board the flight could be possible human trafficking victims.

The French officials interrogated the passengers to determine whether they should be released or detained.

Four judges, four court clerks, several Hindi interpreters, and seven lawyers were involved in the proceedings.

Among the occupants of the plane were also 11 unaccompanied minors who were assigned legal representation in France.

The Indian embassy in Paris deployed staff from its consulate to collaborate with the French authorities in the case and assist its citizens.

The plane took off for Mumbai on Monday night, instead of its original destination of Managua, the Nicaraguan capital.

Twenty-five passengers, including two unaccompanied minors, stayed back after applying for asylum in France.

Two others, who were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and later released, also remained in France.

French authorities suspect that the passengers could be Indians working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) trying to join the flow of immigrants trying to reach the United States or Canada from Central America. EFE

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