The lawyer representing the airline involved in the alleged ‘donkey flight’ saga, where a plane was grounded in France due to suspicions of human trafficking, stated that the majority of passengers had return tickets and hotel reservations for their intended destination, Nicaragua. The airline’s lawyer, Liliana Bakayoko, revealed to NDTV that only a few passengers had been heard by the judge, while most had return tickets and accommodation bookings, even though specifics were not disclosed.
The airline’s aircraft, operated by Romania-based Legend Airlines, became embroiled in controversy after landing in France’s Vatry for refueling, leading to the grounding of the aircraft and police investigations. Sources claimed the plane might be connected to a syndicate involved in smuggling individuals into the United States.
Bakayoko detailed the perplexing sequence of events following the plane’s landing, mentioning that the crew was instructed to leave the airport and wait at a hotel, leaving the passengers behind. Subsequently, the crew was summoned for inquiries, causing anxiety due to the unclear circumstances. Hearings were conducted at the airport, with judges deeming the detention irregular due to the absence of translators and delayed notification of passengers’ rights.
Regarding the passengers’ destinations, Bakayoko explained that while India agreed to accept most passengers, some refused to go back and sought asylum. The client who chartered the flight was identified as a foreign company but refused to disclose its identity.
The ‘donkey flight’ term refers to a method employed by migrants transiting through countries with relaxed travel document rules to reach their final destinations. The incident has raised questions about the legality of the flight and passenger treatment, further complicating the ongoing investigations.
Authorities are continuing their probe into the circumstances surrounding the flight, while passengers’ decisions regarding their destinations are under scrutiny. The legalities and complexities of the situation remain the focal points as the investigation progresses.
Sources By Agencies