Steven Morris and agency
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 28 April 2011 17.01 BST
The Minack theatre near Land's End, a venue for a Cornish male voice choral festival. A Nepalese choir has gone missing. Photograph: Nicholas Bailey/Rex Features
A Nepalese choir that who flew to Britain to take part in a music festival has gone missing. The 10 men had been due to perform at the Cornwall international male voice choral festival which started on Wednesday, but they vanished after touching down at Heathrow.
Immigration officials are investigating if the group has absconded or simply decided to give the event a miss.
David Peters, the festival organiser, had arranged to have the group picked up from the airport in a minibus but was shocked when he discovered they had landed – and then vanished.
He said the disappearance was a mystery. "They did arrive at Heathrow and it seems they have absconded. We kept on hoping they had missed the plane, but we have been in touch with the immigration authorities who are now investigating what has happened."
The group had been booked to perform in Penzance and other venues across the county as well as to take part in workshops in schools.
Peters said: "We've had to reorganise everything they were involved in. We have 30 shows and the Nepalese choir were supposed to appear in most of them."
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "We are aware of this group and are looking into the matter further. All of the group entered the UK lawfully at Heathrow on valid visas. Anyone in the UK on a visa who later fails to abide by its conditions faces having the visa withdrawn and will be required to leave the country."
The agency refused to say if the group travelled on tourist or working visas.
More than 3,500 singers from more than 60 choirs are performing at venues across Cornwall. The festival finishes on Monday.
Another choir will be absent: a Russian choir called Voice Message did not make it out of Russia.