Missing Kenyan boxer ‘still within the law’ – police
Queensland State police have said missing Kenyan boxer Brian Agina is still in Australia legally as his visa remains valid.
They told the head of Kenya’s delegation to the Commonwealth Games, Mr Barnabas Korir, that should Agina not be traced after the expiry of visa on May 15, then the boxer will have violated immigration rules.
Agina mysteriously went missing from Kenya’s games residential camp at the Athletes’ Village in the Queensland city of Gold Coast on Sunday night and hasn’t been traced since.
The Australian authorities are still hopeful the 19-year-old fighter will be found.
“I went to the police station at the Games Village in the morning today and this evening, and still, the boxer hasn’t been traced while there are no leads about his possible whereabouts,” Mr Korir told Daily Nation in Gold Coast on Tueday.
“However, they are saying he is still within the law as his Australian visa expires on May 15.
“But should he not have been traced by then, then he will be deemed to have violated Australian immigration laws and will be declared a fugitive.”
Kenya’s High Commission in Australia is also awaiting a formal communication from Australia’s foreign affairs authorities here.
High Commissioner Mr Isaiah Kabira said there is a protocol to be followed and would not comment until the matter is brought to his attention through the formal channel.
Mr Kabira however remains hopeful that the boxer will be traced.
On Tuesday, Mr Korir said the final group of Kenyan officials will depart from Gold Coast, venue of the April 4-15 Commonwealth Games, on Wednesday with the matter being left to the Australian authorities to pursue.
“The police said if the boxer shows up and seeks asylum, then the case will take a different dimension, for example calling for the intervention of United Nations refugee authorities,” Mr Korir said.
Last week, eight Cameroon athletes disappeared from the games village and are still at large. The five boxers and three weightlifters failed to show up for their respective competitions
Besides Agina, the disappearance of Tanzanian table tennis player, Fatia Fazi, was also reported on Monday.
ARRIVED IN NAIROBI
Agina disappeared as Kenya’s boxing team prepared to fly back home. They arrived in Nairobi Monday.
Boxing Association of Kenya President Mr John Kameta is holding Agina’s passport, but is scheduled to also travel back to Nairobi today.
“Kameta has the boxer’s passport and should he (Agina) surface before May 15, then he will be granted temporary travel papers to return home without further complications but if he outstays the visa, then it will be another case altogether,” Mr Korir added.
Agina lost his preliminary round fight of the 52-kilogramme category at the Commonwealth Games to Pakistan’s Syed Muhammad Asif.
The boxing fights were held at the Oxenford Studios on the outskirts of Gold Coast.
Of the 11 Kenyan boxers, only one – Christine Ongare – made it to the medals bracket, winning a bronze medal.