The Keelung Police Department said yesterday that it had smashed a major human trafficking ring involving suspects from Taiwan and victims from Indonesia.
A police spokesman said 23 Taiwanese suspects were turned over to the Banciao Prosecutors’ Office in Taipei County for further investigation.
Results of an initial investigation had indicated that a Taiwanese woman identified as Liao Tu (廖涂)as the alleged mastermind of the ring, which reportedly collaborated with labor brokers to import Indonesian women at a cost of NT$80,000 (US$2,400) each into Taiwan, where they would be set up in marriages of convenience to allow them to stay in the country.
The Indonesian women would then be introduced to the labor market, working as maids or caregivers, while their passports and salaries were withheld by the brokers, police said.
Their employers would pay the brokers NT$22,000 per person per month, but the workers would only receive NT$6,000 per month, rising gradually to NT$15,000 per month after their third year in Taiwan, Keelung police said.
With the assistance of Banciao prosecutors, Keelung police discovered that the men involved in the sham marriages had also served as fictitious husbands of brides from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.
In addition to the 23 suspects — eight ring leaders and 15 fake husbands — police said they also located 15 Indonesian women who had fallen prey to the ring, known as Madame Liao’s Group.