Simplice Fotsala, right, is among the Cameroon athletes who have gone missing. Picture: AFP/ Adrian Dennis
Simplice Fotsala, right, is among the Cameroon athletes who have gone missing. Picture: AFP/ Adrian Dennis

Dutton vows to deport missing athletes

EIGHT Cameroon athletes who vanished from the Commonwealth Games will be "tracked down" and deported as soon as possible, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says.

The Minister warned this morning the athletes - five boxers and three weightlifters - would not be given preferential treatment if they tried to seek asylum.

"They aren't going to game the system," he told 2GB radio this morning.

The rest of the Cameroon team and its officials have now flown home after the mass desertion, which amounts to a third of their team.

Queensland police have been notified of the athletes' disappearance but the athletes have visas to remain in Australia until May 15.

Mr Dutton said this morning: "These people and others who might have a similar objective need to hear this warning very clearly - they aren't going to game the system, they aren't going to stay here and the Australian Border Force officers in the compliance division there will find these people and they will be held in immigration detention until they can be deported."

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has warned the athletes they will be found and sent home. Picture: AAP
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has warned the athletes they will be found and sent home. Picture: AAP

He said if the athletes did apply for asylum, each case would be tested, but he indicated the circumstances did not look good.

One boxer who vanished before his first event was simply "taking the Mickey," Mr Dutton said.

Simplice Fotsala, right, is among the Cameroon athletes who have gone missing. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Simplice Fotsala, right, is among the Cameroon athletes who have gone missing. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

"People are validly on visas until mid-May. Nonetheless though, we're concerned about the fact that people haven't turned up for events when that was the reason they were here," he said.

"The compliance officers will be out there, I promise, tracking these people down and they'll be deported as quickly as possible.

"If they don't want to be held in detention or locked up at the local watch-house, they'd be better to jump on a plane before the 15th and comply with their visa conditions."



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