20 passengers from Gujarat face probe after France denies entry to Nicaragua-bound flight


The Gujarat police have launched an investigation into the case of 20 passengers from the state who were sent back by France after they boarded a flight to Nicaragua via Paris. The passengers, who claimed to be going for a religious tour, were found to have fake Covid-19 negative certificates and visas.

Passengers detained at Ahmedabad airport

The passengers, who belong to different districts of Gujarat, were detained at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad on Tuesday after they arrived from Paris on an Air France flight. They were questioned by the immigration officials and the local police about their purpose of travel, their documents, and their contacts in Nicaragua.

According to the police, the passengers had booked their tickets through a travel agent in Surat, who had arranged their Covid-19 tests and visas. The passengers had paid around Rs 1.5 lakh each for the trip, which was supposed to last for 15 days. They had left Ahmedabad on December 25 and reached Paris on December 26.

France denies entry to Nicaragua-bound flight

However, when they tried to board the connecting flight to Nicaragua from Paris, they were stopped by the French authorities, who found that their Covid-19 negative certificates and visas were fake. The passengers were also unable to explain why they were going to Nicaragua, a Central American country that has been facing a political crisis and human rights violations.

20 passengers from Gujarat face

The French authorities then decided to send them back to India on the same flight that they had arrived on. The passengers were also fined 500 euros each for violating the Covid-19 norms and carrying fake documents.

Gujarat police probe travel agent and passengers

The Gujarat police have registered a case against the travel agent, who is absconding, and the passengers under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Foreigners Act, and the Epidemic Diseases Act. The police have also seized their passports, mobile phones, and other documents for further investigation.

The police suspect that the passengers were not going for a religious tour, but for some illegal activity or human trafficking. They are also probing the role of the travel agent, who may have links with some international racket.

The police have also alerted the central agencies and the Nicaraguan embassy in India about the case.


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