Would you believe me if I told you that a middle-aged man was stranded at an airport for 54 days before he could fly out? No, I'm not summarising the plotline of Tom Hank's The Terminal, it actually happened.
Edgar Ziebat is a 48-year wanted German criminal on the run, who has been living in the transit area of Indira Gandhi International Airport since March 18th.
He had a layover in Delhi from Vietnam on a flight that was going to Istanbul. But due to the pandemic, India canceled all flights that were arriving or departing from Turkey the very same day.
And within the same week, operations of all international flights were suspended.
With a ban on all international flights, Ziebat was stranded at the Delhi Airport. Because of his criminal records, India denied him a visa and the German Embassy refused to take his custody. An officer further said:
The German embassy informed the Indian bureau of immigration that Ziebat 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.
The airport authorities also tried to accommodate Zeibat on a relief flight to Ankara, Turkey. But, the Turkish authorities turned down the proposal mentioning that it was only for Turkish nationals.
However, after a course of over 50 days, reports have confirmed that Ziebat has finally found a way out and boarded a KLM flight to Amsterdam. A DIAL speaker further mentioned:
The foreign national decided to book himself on a KLM flight to Amsterdam and departed early morning of May 12.
As we write this, there have been 42,984 confirmed coronavirus cases in Amsterdam with a death toll as high as 5,510.