Plane immobilized in the Marne: twenty-five Indian nationals released by the courts from the waiting zone

Twenty-five Indian passengers who were on board the plane grounded last weekend in the Marne, and who requested political asylum in France, were released on Tuesday, December 26, Agence France-Presse learned (AFP) Wednesday by the Bobigny public prosecutor's office

Plane immobilized in the Marne: twenty-five Indian nationals released by the courts from the waiting zone

Twenty-five Indian passengers who were on board the plane grounded last weekend in the Marne, and who requested political asylum in France, were released on Tuesday, December 26, Agence France-Presse learned (AFP) Wednesday by the Bobigny public prosecutor's office. Their release was decided by the liberty and detention judge for formal reasons.

This considered that "the director of the border police at Roissy - Charles-de-Gaulle airport had not contacted him within the deadline with a view to obtaining an extension of their retention in the waiting zone for eight days,” explained the Bobigny prosecutor’s office. “They are therefore free to do what they do even if they are in an irregular situation on French territory,” said the prosecution.

The administrative authority, however, appealed these decisions. Among the twenty-five passengers, five minors were entrusted to the department's child welfare system and placed.

No “organized gang human trafficking”

These people represent only a small part of the 303 passengers who boarded a plane of the Romanian company Legend Airlines in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). They hoped to reach Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, but their stopover on Friday for refueling at Vatry airport, in Marne, resulted in the plane being immobilized for four days.

An anonymous tip, suggesting human trafficking, led to a long mobilization of the authorities over the Christmas weekend. A temporary waiting area was even created from scratch in this small airport to confine passengers.

Since then, the two people taken into police custody, suspected of being smugglers, have been released by the courts, and the plane was able to take off again on Monday towards Bombay in India, with 276 Indian nationals on board. The remaining twenty-five passengers, who wished to apply for political asylum, were then transported to Roissy - Charles de Gaulle airport, which has a waiting area for people in transit.

At this stage of the investigation, the qualification of “organized gang trafficking of human beings” was not retained, because the 303 Indians would have voluntarily boarded the plane.