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Embassy working with authorities for welfare of Indians detained in France | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The Indian embassy in France is working with the French government for the welfare of the 303 Indian nationals presently detained at the airport in Vatry, 150 km east of Paris, and for early resolution of the situation.
The embassy said consular staff had been stationed at the airport and thanked French authorities for working on the issue through the long holiday weekend.French authorities had grounded a flight from the UAE to Nicaragua carrying 303 Indian passengers after receiving a tip that it could be carrying victims of human trafficking. Those aboard include children and families. The local civil protection agency told regional broadcaster France-3 that the youngest passenger is a toddler of 21 months, and that among the children are 13 unaccompanied minors.
The 15 crew members of the Legend Airlines charter flight – en route from Fujairah airport in the UAE to Managua, Nicaragua – were questioned and released, according to a lawyer for the Romania-based airline.
The Indian embassy had confirmed on Friday that it had obtained consular access to the Indian nationals. French officials were reportedly checking the conditions in which the passengers, including many minors, were being transported and the purpose of their journey. Reports from Paris said France had detained two persons for the alleged human trafficking. The passengers, mostly Punjabis and Gujaratis, are likely to be deported once their identities are confirmed and legal formalities completed.
According to an AFP report, the passengers might have planned to travel to Central America in order to attempt illegal entry into the United States or Canada. After landing in France, they were first kept on the aircraft, but then let out and given individual beds in the terminal building.
According to the French prosecutor’s office, an anonymous tip signalled that the flight, operated by Romania-based charter company Legend Airlines, was carrying people who could be victims of human trafficking. It was grounded Thursday after it stopped for refuelling in the city of Vatry east of Paris.
According to Flightradar, Legend Airlines has a fleet of just four aircraft, and its unmarked Airbus jet remained immobilised on the Vatry tarmac on Saturday, AFP said. Legend “has operated only a few flights on this route, always for the same client” that is not based in Europe, the airline said.


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