Illegals On Detained Plane Were Gujarati, Headed To US: Gujarat Police
AHMEDABAD (IANS) – Following the grounding of a Nicaragua-bound Airbus A340 in France over suspected human trafficking, officials have revealed that more than 60 passengers from Gujarat, were on board, seeking to enter the US illegally.
The individuals reportedly agreed to pay immigration agents between ₹60 lakh to ₹80 lakh, with promises of assistance in crossing the US-Mexico border after reaching Nicaragua via Dubai, Gujarat officials said.
The incident sheds light on a growing trend, as data from the US Customs and Border Patrol indicates a significant surge in illegal entry attempts into the US by Indians.
In the fiscal year 2023, a total of 96,917 Indians attempted to enter the US illegally, marking a 51.61% increase from the previous year. Notably, 41,770 of these attempts were made via the Mexican land border, according to CBP data.
Police in Gujarat said it has unearthed a large-scale operation involving illegal transportation of Indian citizens to the United States.
It was revealed that a flight from Dubai, which halted for refueling at the Vitry Airport in France, was found carrying 303 passengers, including 260 Indian nationals.
Notably, 96 of these passengers were identified as residents of Gujarat. Most of them have studied till 8th-12th grade and are from Mehsana and Ahmedabad.
The investigation brought to light a complex network of agents facilitating such illegal migration.
The journey, routed from Ahmedabad to Dubai and then to Nicaragua, cost each person between Rs 60 lakh to Rs 80 lakh. The investigation also revealed that the agents were paid $1,000 to $3,000 just for crossing the American border.
The investigation also delved into the financial transactions for the flight tickets and the process through which visas were obtained. It was found that these individuals’ passports lacked the necessary stamps.
The inquiry extends to uncovering the agents involved in the racket, the process of obtaining Dubai visas, and the financial transactions behind these operations.
The CID Crime has also called 55 of these individuals for questioning after obtaining statements following visits to their homes.
This has led to the identification of approximately 15 agents involved in this illegal immigration racket.