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Paris flight carrying 300 Indians detained in human trafficking case leaves for UAE from France

A Romanian plane carrying 275 passengers, mainly Indians, took off from Paris airport for India, four days after it was detained by French authorities on suspicion of human trafficking. The charter flight to Nicaragua originated from Dubai and was grounded at Vatry airport, east of Paris, on Thursday. French authorities allowed the A340 aircraft operated by Romanian company Legend Airlines to continue its journey on Sunday, news agency PTI reported.

The Indian Embassy wrote to the For, who was present on site to ensure the welfare and smooth functioning of the company.” Safe return. Thanks also to the agencies in India.”

The departure, initially scheduled for 10 am, was delayed as some passengers protested against returning to their home countries. The plane is expected to land in the UAE before heading to Mumbai, PTI reported.

According to the airline’s lawyer, Liliana Bakayoko, 26 passengers remain in France, and two were brought before a judge. Bakayoko noted that some passengers were reluctant to return, especially those who wanted to continue their journey to Nicaragua. “Some passengers will be unhappy with this withdrawal as they wanted to continue their journey to Nicaragua as planned,” French news network BFMTV reported, according to PTI.

Some reports suggest that around four dozen passengers had filed asylum applications. According to ‘Le Monde’ newspaper, the two passengers are not authorized to travel and may face charges.

The lawyer expressed relief at the departure and said the company would cooperate with investigators, who will seek compensation for the significant losses it caused. On Sunday, the airport became a makeshift courtroom, and French judges interrogated passengers detained as part of an investigation into suspected human trafficking. After authorizing the plane to depart, the judges canceled the hearing on Sunday due to irregularities in the process, PTI reported.

The passengers included a 21-month-old child and 11 unaccompanied minors. The conditions of police custody of two travelers who were initially detained on suspicion of involvement in an illegal immigration ring were lifted on Monday. The Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched a judicial investigation into charges of aiding the illegal entry and migration of foreigners and participation in a criminal association, the report said.

The airline’s lawyer denied involvement in smuggling, saying that a partner company responsible for chartering the aircraft verified passengers’ identity documents and provided passport information 48 hours before the flight. According to PTI report, there is a provision of punishment of up to 20 years for human trafficking in France.

According to PTI, while reports suggest the Indian travelers may have planned the trip to reach Central America and attempt illegal entry into the United States or Canada, an anonymous tip indicated that the travelers were “risking human trafficking.” The victims were likely to be organized gangs.

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