South Korean police are searching for seven athletes including two Sri Lankans who have disappeared from the Asian Games athletes' village in an attempt to find jobs, police said Wednesday.
"We've planted informants in areas where many workers from these countries live" to collect information about missing athletes' whereabouts, a senior police official told AFP. Most Asian immigrant workers reside in satellite cities around the capital Seoul such as Incheon, Bucheon and Ansan.
"When we find them, we will ask them to leave the country even before their visa expires on Oct 19 as they left the athletes' village without permission,” the official said.
Athletes from Southeast and South Asian countries often flee sports events in major Asian economies to illegally look for work. Sixteen athletes from from those regions vanished during the 2002 Busan Asian Games.
Every year South Korea issues visas for tens of thousands of foreign workers from Vietnam, the Philippines and other Asian countries to help ease manpower shortages. More than 200,000 foreign workers are also illegally employed in manufacturing, construction and other industries. (AFP)