Plane held in France over trafficking concerns lands in India

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The Airbus A340 carrying more than 300 Indian passengers had been grounded in France for four days [Francois Nascimbeni/AFP]

Airbus A340 carrying 276 Indian passengers arrives in Mumbai early on Tuesday.

A plane carrying hundreds of Indian passengers that was grounded in France for four days amid a probe into possible human trafficking has arrived in India.

The Airbus A340 carrying 276 Indian passengers landed in Mumbai early on Tuesday morning, flight tracking data showed.

The flight, operated by Romania-based Legend Airlines, had been en route from the United Arab Emirates to Nicaragua when it was detained at a regional airport on Thursday following a tip-off that its passengers may be victims of trafficking.

Passengers on the flight were confined at Vatry airport, about 150km east of Paris, while authorities turned the terminal into a makeshift courtroom to carry out emergency hearings.

Among the 303 original passengers who stayed behind in France, 25, including five minors, requested asylum in the country and two others were initially detained as part of the trafficking probe before being released, local authorities said.

The plane’s departure on Monday came after a French court ruled that authorities did not have legal authority to detain several of the passengers further.

French authorities have said they did not find evidence of human trafficking but are continuing to investigate potential breaches of immigration laws.

The Indian Embassy expressed thanks to French officials for the “quick resolution of the situation enabling Indian passengers to return home” in a post on X.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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