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It is risky flying on a donkey

It comes to light now that there are some 3000 such un-registered agencies all over India preying on innocents who are willing to borrow, sell or pledge whatever they have.

Representative image / Unsplash

The story of some 300 passengers who supposedly had a destination of Managua, Nicaragua ended on a soft note without any horror tales. The flight took off from Dubai and was prevented by French authorities from continuing after a technical halt at Vatry on account of an anonymous call that human trafficking was involved. 

Officials soon found that nothing of that sort was on cards but one of persons with valid documents trying to enter a third country illegally using a perfectly legal route. 

The investigations have just begun but the first details are turning out to be spine chilling. Some of the U.S. bound are said to have forked out between US$ 80,000 to US$ 100,000 to unscrupulous agents who had promised safe passage into the land of opportunities. 

Thus far no information on whether these agents ran any refresher camps showing the potential illegal entrants of the hazards involved—either felled by wild animals in the jungles of Latin America or having their tail ends frozen in the biting waters off Canada. 

Quite unlikely is that these soon-to-be illegals would have been given introductory lessons on American Immigration laws: that processing is a nightmare with the waiting time to be spent in prison like quarters; minors and infants stand little chance of being favored so that their parents can be sponsored at a later date; and above all a plea of political persecution as a reason for entry stands no chance before a judge who is quite familiar with democracies and tin pot dictatorships. 

And what happens if entry is rejected?

It comes to light now that there are some 3000 such un-registered agencies all over India preying on innocents who are willing to borrow, sell or pledge whatever they have. And these illegal agents are so well connected that they are able to arrange for these so-called donkey flights through third countries so as not to attract attention in India, with re-fueling halts in Europe. 

These hapless people have valid travel documents, enter a designated country with a valid visa and on their way to a third country that requires no prior visa on landing. And a totally different story unfolds thereafter.

From time to time the Ministry of External Affairs in India puts out advisories asking people to be careful; but illegal migration and that too of an organized variety is quite difficult to come to terms with. 

In the same category will be those agencies trying to recruit men and women for high risk opportunities overseas that locals are unwilling to come forward. In conflict zones it is not uncommon to see soldiers of fortune whose wallets are filled to take a bullet or grenade.

But this is a different cup of tea of those desperate to hit the shores of America, Canada or the United Kingdom. Even if this unscrupulous business has been characterized in some quarters as “journey now, pay on safe arrival”, the time has come to crack the whip.

It is one thing for Indians to leave lawfully to third countries with valid travel papers, especially for work; but it is totally different thing for thugs to exploit loopholes. 

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