Wanted German Criminal Stranded at Delhi Airport Since March 18
A middle-aged German man has been living in Indra Gandhi International airport’s transit area for the last 54 days because of the coronavirus crisis. This man is a wanted criminal in Germany.
Edgard Ziebart is a forty-year-old man who landed in New Delhi from Vietnam in VieJet Air flight as a transit passenger traveling to Istanbul on March 18. This was the day when India canceled all the flights to and from turkey. This criminal was on his way to Hanoi. India has suspended all the international flights, and four days later, the lockdown was announced because of Coronavirus Pandemic.
Several passengers were stranded because of flight suspensions and are at Delhi airport, but Edgard is unique. The airport contacted the german embassy, and they refused to take the custody because of his criminal records in Germany. As a result, India did not give this man a Visa.
“After a week in the transit area, with four other stranded passengers who arrived in Delhi on different dates — two from Sri Lanka and one each from the Maldives and the Philippines — airport authorities alerted their respective embassies. While others were facilitated by their respective embassies and were quarantined, the German embassy informed the Indian bureau of immigration that Ziebart has several cases of assault and other crimes registered against him and that they won’t take his custody given that he is in a foreign land,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.
Normally passengers with no Indian visa cannot step out of the transit area and are only allowed to stay there for one day, but Ziebart has been there for 54 days.
“He has spending days reading magazines and newspapers, talking to his friends and family over the phone, eating at some of the fast-food outlets still in operation within the terminal, interacting with housekeeping and security staff, taking walks within the transit area, and using the airport’s washrooms and toilets,” said another official to HT, “He sleeps on the beds, benches, on the floors, wherever he feels like,” said the second officer.
“We were worried about his health towards May. Some of the officials were sent to meet Ziebart, and they found that he was fine, physically, and mentally. He interacted clearly and was in all his senses. CCTV footage was also checked, and nothing suspicious was found. Since then, some officers visit the German man regularly to interact with him just to get an idea of his well-being,” he added.
“It was found that he has visas of multiple countries. The officials concerned have told him that it would only be possible for them to send him away once international flights resume,” the officer said, adding that he asked to leave and go wherever he wants, but since no flights are operational, he has been stranded.
“About a week ago, attempts were also made to accommodate him on a relief flight to Ankara (Turkey), but Turkish authorities turned down the proposal stating that the flight was only for Turkish nationals or for their permanent residents,” the officer said.