A wanted German criminal with nowhere else to go has slept in an India airport terminal for 54 days ever since the coronavirus disrupted his travel plans, according to a report.
Edgard Ziebat, 40, was on his way from Hanoi to Istanbul when he became stuck during a layover at a New Delhi airport on March 18 — the same day the country suspended all flights to Europe, the Hindustan Times reported.
Four days later, the country canceled all international flights, and then, later that month, ordered a national lockdown until May 17, the outlet reported.
Meanwhile, Ziebat was left with few options since the German embassy has refused to provide him refuge because he is wanted on assault charges there, according to the report.
India also denied him a visa to leave the airport due to his criminal record, leaving him languishing in the terminal with only his luggage, the outlet reported.
“He sleeps on the beds, benches, on the floors, wherever he feels like,” an officer told the Hindustan Times.
But Ziebat has managed to keep busy at the airport, which is only operating cargo flights and some special evacuation flights.
“He has [been] 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,” another official told the outlet.
Ziebat has told officials that he can pay for his way if travel is arranged, but it’s unclear whether international flights will resume if the lockdown ends as scheduled on May 17, according to the report.
“It was found that he has visas of multiple countries. The officials concerned have told him that it will only be possible for them to send him away once international flights resume,” the first officer told the outlet.