Gujarat Police have formed teams to bust a suspected illegal immigration network involving “agents” and will coordinate with passengers of the plane that landed in Mumbai from France on Tuesday, a senior officer said.
He said many passengers hail from Gujarat.
The plane, an Airbus A340, carrying 276 passengers, mostly Indians, was grounded in France for four days over suspected human trafficking. It landed in Mumbai in the early hours on Tuesday, an official said.
“The CID crime wants to take action against agents who had promised help to the victims to enter the US and other countries (illegally). We have formed four teams which will get information from the victims regarding the promises made to them by these agents,” said Superintendent of Police, CID (Crime), Sanjay Kharat.
He said most of the passengers on the chartered plane that returned from France were from districts of Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana and Anand.
“Police will coordinate with the passengers when they reach Gujarat from Mumbai to find out the agents and agencies involved and whether documents provided to them to migrate to the US and other countries were forged,” he said.
Police will also try to find out as to how many people have been flown abroad this way, and who all are seeking to travel in this manner, the SP said.
He said the CID has so far received “raw information” regarding the agents involved in the incident and will be able to find out more only after questioning the concerned passengers.
Mr Kharat said different agents involved in illegal immigration work in tandem.
“The agents working at the village and district levels are small players controlled by the kingpin who works at the international level,” he added.
Gujarat police will investigate and get a clear picture of how they operate, he said.
“Different agencies use different modus operandi based on the requirement of persons seeking to migrate like whether they require forged documents etc., and rates are fixed accordingly,” the SP said, adding that victims will be questioned and police will reach the kingpin.
The charter flight, which was operated by Romanian charter company Legend Airlines and bound for Nicaragua, had landed at Vatry near Paris on Thursday for a technical stopover en route from Dubai when French police intervened.
French authorities launched a judicial investigation into the conditions and purpose of the trip, with a unit specialising in organised crime investigating suspected human trafficking.
In Mumbai, immigration authorities enquired from some of the 276 passengers, an official said, adding no passenger was detained and they were allowed to leave the airport by 11.30 am.
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