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French grounding prompted 30 Gujaratis in Dubai to abandon Nicaragua flight, choose return to India: Report

Had the French authorities not detained the 303 passengers on the grounded flight for questioning, the group of 30 Gujaratis might have found themselves in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.

French grounding prompts 30 Gujaratis in Dubai to abandon Nicaragua flight, choose return to India: Report snt
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First Published Dec 29, 2023, 3:56 PM IST

Following the grounding of a Dubai-Nicaragua flight carrying 303 Indians, including 96 from Gujarat, by France last week on suspicion of human trafficking, a subsequent charter jet bound for Nicaragua had to be reportedly abandoned by a group of 30 Gujaratis in Dubai. Instead, they opted to fly back to India, according to a report in TOI. Quoting sources, the report suggested that illicit immigration agents have been orchestrating these chartered flights to assist individuals in crossing into the US upon their arrival in Nicaragua.

Had the French authorities not detained the 303 passengers on the grounded flight for questioning, the group of 30 Gujaratis might have found themselves in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.

Out of the 303 passengers, 276 returned to Mumbai, India on Tuesday morning. According to the report quoting a local source familiar with the situation, "The flight, which was detained in France, had departed from Dubai on December 21. Another flight, initially scheduled for December 22 with 30 Gujarati passengers, was subsequently canceled following the grounding by French authorities."

Also read: WATCH: Passengers held in France over 'human trafficking' concerns evade media in Mumbai, raise suspicions

The source added that the 30 passengers were instructed to return to India. Over the past two to three days, they flew to various destinations within India and have since arrived home.

On December 21, France grounded a flight destined for Nicaragua with 303 passengers following a tip-off. A court at Vatry airport, on December 24, ordered the release of the passengers and permitted the flight to proceed to Mumbai. However, only 276 passengers landed in Mumbai. Two individuals, detained by French authorities for investigation last week, were released by a French court on Monday.

Twenty-five passengers chose to stay in France and have applied for asylum, including unaccompanied minors, including a 21-month-old child. According to a police officer, human smugglers initiated chartered flights to transport passengers with proper documentation to Nicaragua, enabling them to cross into the US through the US-Mexico border.

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