Several Indians who had boarded a chartered flight from Dubai to Jamaica were sent back from the island nation in North America to the United Arab Emirates on May 7 after authorities were not satisfied with their documents, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

“They [travelling Indians] had prior travel bookings, they also had prior hotel bookings but the local authorities were not satisfied with them as tourists and therefore after a few days and due to formalities being done they were sent back to Dubai,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said during a press conference.

According to a report by Radio Jamaica News, the chartered plane, a German registered aircraft, had landed at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on May 2 with 253 passengers, including tcrew.

The Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority said that most of the passengers were Indian nationals while one was from Uzbekistan and another was from Russia.

In financial year 2023, ending in September, the US Customs and Border Protection agency apprehended nearly 1,00,000 Indians trying to cross into the country. A 2023 study by United States-based think tank Pew Research Centre, at 7,25,000, Indian immigrants constitute the third largest illegal immigrants’ population, after Mexico and El Salvador.

According to a report by Reuters, out of 32 people interviewed in seven Haryana villages, most cited unemployment and a lack of skilled, well-paid jobs as the motive driving hundreds of men to leave via the “donkey” route – a long, roundabout journey designed to dodge United States’ border controls.

On December 24, France had allowed a flight carrying 303 passengers, most of them Indians, to leave the country, three days after the aircraft was detained on the suspicion of human trafficking. Out of the 303 passengers, 276, mostly Indians, returned to Mumbai.

The Airbus A340 aircraft operated by Romanian charter company Legend Airlines had landed at the Vatry airport in the Marne region of eastern France for a technical stopover. It was flying from the United Arab Emirates to Nicaragua.

After the flight was detained, French authorities had launched a judicial investigation into the conditions and purposes of the journey on Thursday. This was after they were tipped off by an anonymous informant that the flight was carrying passengers “likely to be victims of human trafficking”.

Also read: ‘Unemployed for six months, nothing here for me’: Indians risk ‘Dunki’ route to chase American Dream