Isle of Man News - POSTED Fri 16-09-2011

Cameroon athletes go missing following Commonwealth Youth Games

by Tessa Hawley

Cameroon athletes go missing following Commonwealth Youth Games

TWO athletes from the Cameroon have gone missing following the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man.


Balana Marie Michel and Foumena Marie Gaelle, both aged 16, have been missing since Wednesday.


The girls, who had competed in the women's athletics events at the competition, were last seen in terminal three at Manchester Airport.


They were due to fly back to the Cameroon, via Brussels, at 6.30am but the girls did not board the flight.


It is believed that both girls were carrying black Puma rucksacks which bear the Cameroon flag. According to police they have about £10 each in cash but no further money or bank cards. The girls do not have their passports as they were being looked after by the Cameroon team coach.


Balana and Foumena only speak French and have no friends, family or contacts in the United Kingdom.


Detective Constable Andy McNab, who is based at Manchester Airport CID, said: "We believe the girls walked off of their own free will but we are extremely concerned for their welfare as they have little money and absolutely no one to turn to in this country.


"We would urge anyone who has seen them or knows where they are to contact us.


"Also it is quite likely that the girls are feeling frightened and confused after a night in a city they do not know. Girls if you can hear or see this appeal please walk into a police station. You are not in any trouble with us and we can get you some help and support."


Anyone with information is asked to contact police officers at Manchester Airport on 0161 856 0250.

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