Cambodian Airline chartered to bring in workers from Macau. (Photo credit : Ongerung Kambes Kesolei)

The chartered Cambodian aircraft that brought 21 illegal Chinese workers from Macau to Palau on Tuesday, left yesterday without the illegal workers, according to information from Director of Border, Customs & Immigration John Tarkong Jr.  The aircraft was permitted to depart as it was only chartered by an agent to bring the passengers, added Mr. Tarkong.

Meanwhile, the 21 unpermitted passengers remain in Palau whilst their attorney and the Attorney General’s Office wrangle over the legalities of their situation. So far, the agent had been fined $10,000 and each passenger had been fined $1,000 each for various violations of Immigration regulations.

Out of the 26 passengers on the plane from Macau, 5 had proper documents while 21 did not have either a work permit, provisional visa, or return ticket.  The 21 passengers were recruited by 3 local startup construction companies.

For now, the 21 unpermitted workers have been declared illegal aliens and will remain at Palau Hotel until they can be sent back home said Tarkong.

The Cambodian aircraft was chartered by a licensed agent Palau Pacific Airways in Palau, to pick up Chinese workers from Macau, China, and bring them to Palau.  21 out of 26  passengers that arrived claimed they were in Palau to work but did not have work permits or provisional visas.  They also did not have return tickets and were apprehended by Immigration officers.  The remaining 5 passengers had proper permits and were released.

It is uncertain when these illegal aliens will be able to depart Palau. There are no other flights out of Palau except for United Airlines that only provide service between Palau and Guam. 

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