Flight from UAE carrying 303 Indians grounded in France on suspicion of human trafficking
Flight from UAE carrying 303 Indians grounded in France on suspicion of human trafficking

London: A plane bound for Nicaragua departed from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 303 Indian passengers has been halted in France due to suspected human trafficking, as per reports from French authorities on Friday.

French media cited the Le Monde newspaper reporting that the national anti-organized crime unit JUNALCO has assumed control of the investigation. Specialized investigators are interrogating all passengers, with two individuals currently in custody awaiting further examination, stated the Paris prosecutor's office.

The A340, operated by Romanian company Legend Airlines, remains immobilized at Vatry airport in the northeastern Marne department after landing on Thursday. Situated 150 kilometers east of Paris, Vatry airport primarily serves budget airlines.

According to reports, the prefecture revealed that the plane was scheduled for refueling and carried 303 Indian nationals, potentially employed in the UAE. Initially, upon arrival in France, passengers were confined within the aircraft but were later allowed to disembark and provided separate accommodations with individual beds in the terminal building. Law enforcement maintained a perimeter around the entire airport.

The prosecutor's office disclosed that an anonymous tip alerted authorities to the possibility of human trafficking victims aboard the flight. Eventually, passengers were relocated to the main hall of the small Vatry airport, where arrangements were made for them to stay overnight on Thursday, as confirmed by the administration overseeing the Marne region.

Specialized units including investigators from a French organized crime unit, border police, and aviation gendarmes are actively involved in the investigation. As of now, Legend Airlines has not issued any statement regarding the incident.
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