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Indians continue to be stuck in France airport after plane grounded, court to decide on case today
France
Image courtesy: Legend Airlines website

Indians continue to be stuck in France airport after plane grounded, court to decide on case today

| @indiablooms | 24 Dec 2023, 08:55 am

Paris/IBNS: Several Indians, including unaccompanied minors, remain stuck at an airport in France after local authorities grounded their plane over suspected "human trafficking". 

The Nicaragua-bound charter plane from Dubai was carrying 303 people, most of them Indians.

The Legend Airlines flight was detained in France following an anonymous tipoff. The plane was due for refuelling at Vatry airport near Paris.

India on Friday said it had been granted consular access to those onboard.

A team from the embassy reached the passengers, the Indian Embassy in France said in a post on X.

"French authorities informed us of a plane with 303 people, mostly of Indian origin, from Dubai to Nicaragua detained on a technical halt at a French airport. The embassy team has reached and obtained consular access. We are investigating the situation, also ensuring the well-being of the passengers," the embassy said on Friday.

According to reports, the aircraft was carrying passengers who are “likely to be victims of human trafficking”.

France's anti-organised crime unit JUNALCO is investigating the case, said reports.

A French judge, who has the authority to extend the detention of the passengers by eight days, is due to hear the case on Sunday.

The French border cops can hold a foreign national for up to four days if they land in the country and are not allowed to travel further. This can be extended for eight days a few times and up to 26 days in total in exceptional cases by a judge.

The stranded passengers have been provided makeshift beds and access to toilets and showers. They have been given meals and hot drinks at the Vatry airport, media reports said.

French law provides for a 20-year jail term for human trafficking cases.

 

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