Police question British Asians after flight ban

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The Independent Online

Three people barred from a charter flight from Spain because other passengers thought they looked suspicious were being questioned by British immigration officers last night after arriving on another flight.

Three people barred from a charter flight from Spain because other passengers thought they looked suspicious were being questioned by British immigration officers last night after arriving on another flight.

The passengers, of Asian origin, claimed they were victims of racism after been prevented by the captain from boarding a flight from Girona to Luton on Thursday.

About 25 passengers on the My Travel flight from north-eastern Spain said they were suspicious of three men and a woman and refused to be on the flight with them.

The captain of the Airbus 320 ordered the four to remain at the airport. They were given no explanation, and Spanish police took no action, "because the captain is the lord and master and the one who takes the decisions inside the aircraft", a police spokesman was quoted as saying.

One of the four, who were aged between 29 and 35 and claimed to live in Luton, said the decision was a case of "intolerable racial discrimination" they had not experienced before.

Spanish police sources said none of the four was interrogated "because from our point of view, everything was in order". The group eventually flew to the UK on an easyJet flight from Barcelona to Luton.

Immigration officers were questioning the woman and two of the men, who claim to be Indian citizens, on suspicion of flying to Britain carrying false passports. "We are currently trying to ascertain what nationality they are," a spokesman said.

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