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French Judge Orders Release Of 25 Indian Passengers Held On Human Trafficking Suspicion



India Human Trafficking

(CTN News) – Twenty-five Indian passengers who were previously detained in France on suspicion of human trafficking have been released following a judge’s order, as announced by prosecutors on Wednesday.

The judge’s decision stemmed from the fact that the head of the border police at Charles De Gaulle airport failed to present the case within the legally mandated timeframe, according to the prosecutors.

The Bobigny public prosecutor’s office revealed that these individuals are now at liberty to move freely, even though their stay in France hasn’t received official approval.

Their release occurred on Tuesday, with particular attention given to the five minors among them, who were subsequently placed under the care of child welfare services.


Procedural Grounds: Release of Indian Passengers Raises Legal Questions

This group of 25 individuals was among the 303 passengers who boarded a Legend Airlines plane in Dubai with the intention of traveling to Nicaragua.

However, their plans were disrupted when the aircraft made an unexpected stopover at Vatry airport in northeastern France on December 21. Following an anonymous tipoff, the plane remained grounded for four days.

It is noteworthy that the judge’s decision to release the Indian passengers was based on procedural grounds, highlighting the failure to adhere to the specified legal timeline for presenting the case.

While the release grants them freedom of movement, the official status of their stay in France remains pending.

The special attention given to the minors underscores the commitment to safeguarding their welfare amidst the complex circumstances surrounding the incident.

Resolution of Human Trafficking Suspicions

Following initial suspicions of human trafficking, the charges against the 25 Indian passengers were dropped as authorities verified that they had boarded the plane voluntarily, without any signs of coercion.

Nevertheless, the focus has shifted to two individuals who opted to remain in France, and they are currently under police questioning regarding their potential involvement in people trafficking.

Concerning the remaining passengers, the plane, carrying the remaining 276 individuals, returned to India on Tuesday, marking the conclusion of this challenging ordeal.

The resolution of the case underscores the importance of thorough investigations to distinguish between voluntary travel and illicit activities, ensuring justice is served while upholding the rights of those involved.

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