JOHANNESBURG – Athletes from Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya and Sierra Leone have gone missing in Australia after the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast ended in April.
It is thought that at least 23 athletes are unaccounted for.
Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has appealed to the athletes to give themselves up as the visas which they were given for the Games expire on Wednesday.
Reports say that some of the athletes may be able to remain in the country legally after receiving assistance from a refugees group.
"If they breach the conditions, they're subject to enforcement action," said Dutton.
"Like anyone else, they're expected to operate within the law, and enforcement action will take place to identify those people and to deport them if they don't self-declare."
"I know some of them have already had interviews with immigration," said David Addington, the chairman of Sydney's Northern Beaches Refugee Sanctuary, according to news.com.au.
"I know that some of them have already been given bridging visas, so you don't get detained."
African News Agency