Paris-Vatry airport, located in the north-east of France, has been closed since Thursday due to a plane being grounded on the tarmac for “suspicion of human trafficking”.
The Airbus A340 of these 303 Indians, which was flying between Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Managua, capital of Nicaragua, landed Thursday afternoon at Vatry, 150 km from Paris, to refuel.
But this simple technical stopover turned into a long immobilization after an anonymous report that passengers were likely to be victims of human trafficking in an organized gang, the Paris prosecutor's office told AFP on Friday.
According to a source close to the matter, these Indians, probably workers in the United Arab Emirates, may have planned to go to Central America in order to then try to enter the United States or Canada illegally.
< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Among them are eleven unaccompanied minors, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.
The investigation, carried out by the National Jurisdiction for the Fight against Organized Crime (JUNALCO), aims to verify whether any elements would corroborate suspicions of human trafficking, according to the prosecution.
Two police custody cases that began on Friday were still in progress on Sunday, the Paris prosecutor's office told AFP.
They aim to check whether the role of these two people could have been different from that of the others.
Ten asylum applications had also been filed late Saturday afternoon, according to a source close to the case. Representatives of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) were present on Sunday.
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In front of the terminal, a row of white tarpaulins hides the bay window of the departures terminal.
The Marne prefecture specifies that individual beds, toilets and showers have been installed in the waiting area from the airport and a "family" to ensure parent-child privacy, was put in place.
But the Prosecutor was concerned about problems of ;crampedness and poor living conditions in this area created by prefectural decree Thursday evening.
According to the specialized site Flightradar, Legend Airlines, which chartered the flight, is a small company whose fleet consists of four aircraft, including two A340-313s.