276 Indians Detained in France Return to Mumbai After 4-Day: CISF Airport Inquiry

After the revelation of the largest human trafficking conspiracy in the United States, a chartered flight was inspected at France’s Vatry Airport, exposing human trafficking. Fears of human trafficking led France to detain the flight, which had 303 passengers, including 276 returning to India (Mumbai). Gujarat residents were among those on the flight, with plans to reach Gujarat after landing in Mumbai. DGP Vikas Sahay informed Divya Bhaskar that Gujarat police have initiated an investigation based on inputs received from central agencies.

Concerns about human trafficking led to the detention of a flight from France in Mumbai on 25th December. The flight landed at Mumbai Airport on Tuesday at 4 AM. According to PTI at 4:30 AM, it was reported that 276 people from this flight have returned. CISF questioned them upon arrival. Many tried to avoid the media, but some responded to media queries. As per reports, most passengers are from Punjab, Gujarat, and South India.

Before this information was provided, it was anticipated that the flight would arrive in India, specifically Gujarat, at 2:20 PM on Monday. Some passengers did not wish to return to the country, leading to the decision to abort takeoff. These passengers had sought shelter in France.

Earlier reports suggested that 300 passengers were on board, with all of them returning to India. However, ‘Times of India’ now claims that out of the 303 passengers, only 276 are returning to India. Approximately 25 Indian passengers have sought shelter in France, particularly in the special zone ‘Charles de Gaulle’ at Paris Airport, where those seeking asylum are being accommodated.

As per media reports, French police have released two individuals, having found no evidence of human trafficking. When questioned based on the suspicion of human trafficking, the police had initiated a case under French law. However, when presented before a judge, they were released. Both individuals have become witnesses.

Simultaneously, a French TV channel claimed that some passengers on the plane were demanding to go to Nicaragua instead of returning to India.

French police will not investigate the case as human trafficking, but rather as a violation of immigration laws.

French Court Grants Relief in Detention Case of Indian Passengers

On December 24th, the hearing of this case took place in a French court. On the same day, four French judges, working even during the Christmas holidays, issued an order to release the passengers stuck in detention after questioning related to the passengers who were supposed to board the flight. Subsequently, on December 25th, permission was granted to take off the Indian plane.

21-Month-Old Among 300 Indians Stranded in France

According to news agency AFP, 300 Indians, including a 21-month-old child, were kept separate in the plane from the remaining two passengers. They faced intense questioning. All individuals were described as workers, some having recently arrived in the Americas via Nicaragua.

Where Are the 300 Indians in France?

Indian citizens, en route from Dubai to Nicaragua, were detained at Vatry Airport to refuel the plane. During this time, French authorities learned about the plight of individuals trafficked for labor, leading to the decision to halt the flight’s takeoff. The reception hall at Vatry Airport served as a waiting area for all passengers, including tutors for the children.

Indian Officials Meet Locals Daily at the Airport

In France, authorities provide accommodation and food arrangements for all individuals at the airport. An additional tutor was brought in for the children. Indian officials meet with their citizens daily at the airport. Foreign nationals in France cannot be detained for more than four days without approval from a judge, which can be extended up to 24 days in serious cases.

Charter Aircraft of a Private Company

According to media reports, the aircraft held at Vatry Airport belongs to a Romanian charter company. This aircraft was detained for technical inspection and refueling. After a short delay on the runway, police vehicles arrived, and the plane was seized. Investigation of this case is assigned to France’s Organized Crime Unit. The aircraft is identified as an A340.

Nearly 97,000 Indians Detained in the US in the Last Year

According to US Customs and Border Protection data, approximately 97,000 Indians who entered the United States have been detained in the last year, from October 2022 to September 2023. Of these, 30,010 were captured at the US-Canada border, and 41,770 were apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border.

Concerns Raised Over Indians Being Taken Somewhere in the Americas

American Congressman James Lankford stated in Congress that nearly 45,000 Indians have crossed the southern border in the past year. These Indians are experiencing fear in their own country, and there are concerns that some may be seeking refuge in Canada.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.