France grounds Flight to Nicaragua over suspected human trafficing

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By LatAm Reports Editor

A plane with 303 passengers of Indian nationality going to Nicaragua has been blocked since Thursday at an airport 150 kilometers from Paris on suspicion of trafficking in people,” the French Prosecutor’s Office announced.

The aircraft, from the United Arab Emirates, was immobilized on the runway at Vatry airport after the authorities received an anonymous complaint that the plane was carrying Indian passengers who could be victims of human trafficking, the Paris Prosecutor’s Office told AFP.

A source close to the investigation indicated that the plane made a stopover in Vatry to refuel fuel and that it is possible that the goal of Indian passengers was to travel to Nicaragua to try from there to enter irregularly to the United States or Canada.

The Prosecutor’s Office indicated that it opened an investigation – to verify whether there are indications to support suspicions that there is trafficking in persons – coordinated by an organized gang, an offence punishable by 20 years ' imprisonment and a fine of three million euros ($3.31 million).

The prefecture of the department of Marne, in northeastern France, indicated that the flight of Romanian airline Legend Airlines remains immobilized on the runway of Vatry airport after its landing on Thursday afternoon, after an operation by the air transport authorities.

New route

In previous weeks, charter flights from the Legend to Managua had already entered charter flights, LA PRENSA confirmed with different sources that flights did not bring tourists, but Indian migrants and countries that made up the former Soviet Union, who landed in Nicaragua and then continue on their way to the United States or Canada.

The U.S. decision to restrict the visa to people involved on charter flights arriving in Nicaragua with irregular migrants, who from here follow their journey by land to the north, reduced travel from various Caribbean islands, but had opened the new charter flight route from the old continent.

Two direct flights arrived in early December. The first flight arrived in Managua on Saturday, December 9, at 8:37 p.m. He left Chalons Vatry International Airport in France and the flight operated by the same Legend Airlines, based in Romania. This airline leases aircraft and conducts charter flights through its fleet of Airbus A-340, which according to technical specifications, is one of the most powerful commercial aircraft and can carry 359 passengers.

On Friday, 15 December, another plane from the same airline landed with the same itinerary and on the night of December 16 another charter flight from France.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa Ni