The 21 Chinese nationals who were detained in November after arriving in Palau without work permits or round trip tickets are still here a month after their arrival, confirmed Minister Kaleb Udui Jr. of the Ministry of Finance.

Sources who have contact with the detained passengers reported that some of the passengers have been asked to pay bonds of $2,000 to $3,000 per person.

At this week’s press conference, Minister Udui confirmed that some of the passengers have paid bonds to ensure that they have a return ticket when flights become available and to cover the cost of their supervision.

He also confirmed that some of the illegal passengers will be released to other designated locations in the community and assured that they will be “closely supervised”.

Minister Udui said that they expect to have them depart Palau in late January next year.

An investigation into the matter by the Bureau of Immigration and the Attorney General’s Office is ongoing.

The Chinese nationals were brought in on chartered Cambodian aircraft, which was released to depart back to Cambodia while the illegal passengers remained in Palau.

It was reported earlier that the aircraft could not return to China and the passengers did not have visas to enter Cambodia, and therefore, they were not able to be sent back on the same flight.

The illegal passengers were being detained at Palau Hotel at the request and the expense of the alleged “sponsors” or employers of the passengers. Minister Udui reported that the people who allegedly brought in the passengers, along with the passengers themselves, are responsible for the cost of their accommodations at the Palau Hotel as well as the cost of the security to monitor them.

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