In a French airport, a bunch of people, including kids without anyone with them, are stuck in a tough situation. The local authorities stopped a plane from Dubai heading to Nicaragua, thinking there might be “human trafficking” involved. The plane had 303 folks on board, mostly from India, and the halt happened during a layover at Vatry airport near Paris on a Saturday.
Today, a French judge, who can keep passengers in detention for up to eight more days, will handle the case. If foreign folks land in France and can’t continue their journey, border cops can hold them for four days, and sometimes up to 26 days in total, if a judge agrees.
The Indian embassy in France got permission to help and is figuring out what to do. They’re working together with the French government to take care of the Indians stuck at the airport.
Here’s the twist: Some Legend Airlines Indian passengers want asylum. About 10 of them applied, and six kids without anyone with them want to do the same. The Paris prosecutor’s office confirms that 11 kids without anyone with them are on the plane.
The stranded passengers are getting temporary beds, bathrooms, and food at Vatry airport. Vatry is about 150 km from Paris and is mostly used by budget airlines. The plane, grounded there, belongs to a Romanian charter company called Legend Airlines.
The Paris prosecutor started legal action because someone hinted that some passengers might be “victims of human trafficking.” They’ve detained two people for questioning. In France, you could go to jail for 20 years for human trafficking.
A lawyer representing Legend Airlines says the company did nothing wrong and is ready to help the French authorities. If charges come up, they’re willing to go to court.