Athletes from Cameroon enter the stadium during the Gold Coast’s Opening Ceremony. (AAP: Tracey Nearmy)
Five Cameroon athletes have gone missing from the athletes’ village at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, with three weightlifters and two boxers failing to turn up to their competition events this week.
Queensland Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were involved, but no missing person application had been made.
“My understanding is that of this morning … there isn’t any official lodgement of any missing persons, but certainly the Australian Federal Police are monitoring the issue,” she said.
“They are keeping a watching brief on these athletes.
“When an athlete comes to Australia to compete in a competition we expect them to front up on the field and compete, so we are disappointed about that.”
Before the Commonwealth Games began Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned athletes not to overstay their visas.
“Our message to the 0.5 per cent of people who might think they can overstay a visa, or not act within the conditions of that visa, is that Australia has very tough laws and they need to abide by the laws,” Mr Dutton said in January.
This was not the first time athletes from the small African nation had gone missing at an international sporting event.
Seven left the athletes village during the London Olympic Games in 2012.
After the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, 26 athletes and officials sought asylum in Australia.
Fourteen were athletes from Sierra Leone, who disappeared from the Games village during competition but later handed themselves over to immigration officials.
The ABC has contacted Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office and the AFP for comment.