Officials in Guyana say a group of Venezuelans who apparently crossed the border to flee the economic crisis in their country will be sent back home.

Police Chief Seelall Persaud says authorities have no choice but to deport the nine men and five women who were detained after illegally entering Guyana over the northwest border with Venezuela.

Persaud said Tuesday that he was sympathetic but Guyana's government would have to change policy to allow the Venezuelans to remain on humanitarian grounds.

The 14 Venezuelans appeared before a judge Monday and said they had come in search of food. The judge ordered them deported by the end of the week.

Venezuelans have been leaving the country in increasing numbers amid a crash of the oil-dependent economy.