Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Illegal workers detained in Taipei

JOINT OPERATION:A poultry slaughterhouse hired the illegal workers to meet increasing demand and made them work at nights to avoid detection, officials said

Staff writer, with CNA

Law enforcement officials on Monday detained 22 foreign workers who had been working illegally at a slaughterhouse in Taipei, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said yesterday.

The workers, 18 of whom had fled their legal employers and four who had overstayed their visas, were caught during a raid conducted by Taipei prosecutors, investigators and Coast Guard Administration authorities, Deputy Captain Shih Chao-yi (施昭儀) of the NIA’s Taipei Service Center told a news conference.

In all, 119 law enforcement agents took part in the raid, acting on a tip-off received early this month, Shih said.

The slaughterhouse owner employed the workers to meet increased demand for poultry during the 228 Peace Memorial Day holiday, investigators said.

The workers — 13 men and nine women, all from Southeast Asia — were instructed to work from late in the night until morning to avoid detection, they said.

A male Vietnamese worker had overstayed his visa for five years, Shih said.

None of the workers had entered Taiwan under the “Kuan Hung Pilot Project,” an electronic visa program launched in November 2015 that runs until the end of this year as part of Taiwan’s efforts to boost tourism from Southeast Asia, Shih added.

As of yesterday morning, 95 people who had absconded after entering the nation under the program had been caught, while 53 remain at large, NIA data showed.

The program covers visitors from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Brunei, the Philippines and Thailand were removed from the program after their citizens were granted visa-free entry to Taiwan.

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