'Donkey' Flight With 276 Out Of 303 Indian Passengers Held In France Lands At Mumbai Airport

'Donkey' Flight With 276 Out Of 303 Indian Passengers Held In France Lands At Mumbai Airport

The Central American country of Nicaragua is the latest hub for illegal immigrants for entry into the United States by human traffickers.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Tuesday, December 26, 2023, 03:50 PM IST
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The aircraft landed in Mumbai shortly after 4 am and had taken off from Vatry airport around 2.30 pm local time | ANI/Dharmesh Thakkar

An Airbus A340 aircraft operated by Romanian Legend Airlines with 276 of the 303 passengers suspected for human trafficking detained in France finally landed in Mumbai Airport at dawn after 4 day ordeal Vatry airport near Paris.

The aircraft landed in Mumbai shortly after 4 am and had taken off from Vatry airport around 2.30 pm local time.

The Indian Immigration at the Mumbai Airport said that 276 passengers were on board the flight that had been sent back by France while 25 individuals, including two minors, sought political asylum and their case will be heard by the French authorities.

A total of 303 passengers including 11 unaccompanied minors suspected to be illegal immigrants and victims of human trafficking were detained at Vatry airport near Paris on Friday when the charter flight operated by Legend Airlines to Nicaragua stopped for refuelling.

What is 'donkey' flight?

The Central American country of Nicaragua is the latest hub for illegal immigrants for entry into the United States by human traffickers. This emerging trend of people travelling to third countries, including Hungary, France, or Nicaragua, where Indians are able to easily acquire travel documents or face no such requirement, is colloquially referred to as "donkey flights."

US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data has recorded a significant increase in Indians attempting to enter the US illegally with 96,917 cases reported in 2023, representing a 51.61 percent jump from the previous year.

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