Plane passengers held pending human trafficking inquiry leave France for India

PARIS (Reuters) – A plane carrying 276 Indian passengers took off on Monday for Mumbai, the French interior ministry’s local office said, after it was grounded for four days pending investigation into possible human trafficking.

The flight, carried out by Romanian charter company Legend Airlines, had departed from Dubai and landed at the small Vatry airport on Thursday for a technical stopover when police intervened, the Marne prefecture said in a statement.

Bound for Nicaragua, the flight arrived in France with 303 Indian passengers onboard.

After being interrogated by police, two people investigated for human trafficking have been placed under “assisted witness” status while the investigation continues, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Another 25 people, including five minors, have stayed in France where they wish to seek asylum, authorities said.

(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro and Kate Entringer; Editing by Barbara Lewis)