Police said on Monday that two beggars operating near MRT stations in Taipei City and Taipei County turned out to be professional beggars from China who had entered Taiwan on business visas.
Because the men's passports contained a large number of stamps for Southeast Asian countries, police said they were investigating whether the pair were scouts for a larger Chinese begging racket.
Liang Yiping (梁一平), 32, faked deafness and muteness when confronted by police at Yongan Market station, but his identity was later confirmed after officers found he had Chinese currency and more than NT$10,000.
After running a background check, they established that he had entered the country with Guo Anquan (郭安銓), 53, on July 12. Guo was later picked up at Ximending station.
Liang had applied for a visa as vice president of a company in Guangdong Province, but he said that both men were relying on begging for their income.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday the men were invited into the country by a Taiwanese wholesale clothing firm established in November 2001.
The company in April invited two other Chinese to visit Taiwan.
That pair arrived on April 23 and left on April 29, the ministry said in a statement on its Web site.
The ministry said it would refer the company and a travel agency that had arranged the visits to investigators over possible forgery, and that it would no longer accept applications from either the company or the travel agency.
Liang and Guo had been staying at a hotel near Ximending. Police said the men claimed they were collecting money to return home.
They claimed that the NT$30,000 that police discovered in their bags and clothes had been collected over three days of begging.
Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said that travel applications for business are handled by the MOEA, and that the incident showed that the ministry needed to improve its system of checks.
The ministry yesterday said it would improve its review process.
Police said that Guo and Liang had been moved to a National Immigration Agency detention center in Ilan to await deportation.
Additional reporting by staff writer
VITAL INDUSTRY: A war in the Strait would be a catastrophe, as Taiwan ‘lies at the heart’ of the world’s semiconductor industry, the magazine’s report said The government yesterday welcomed international attention on Taiwan’s security, saying that China is to blame for threatening regional stability, after a report by The Economist called Taiwan “the most dangerous place on Earth.” The report is featured on the cover of the magazine’s latest issue, which depicts the nation as the epicenter of a US-China rivalry. The cover shows Taiwan in a radar display with dots crossing the Taiwan Strait accompanied by a Chinese flag and dots nearing the east coast with a US flag. The US maintains a “one China” policy, while maintaining relations with Taiwan, but such “strategic ambiguity is breaking
HIGH-RISK GROUP: After the latest outbreak, family members of workers exposed to infection would from tomorrow be eligible for government-funded vaccines The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four local COVID-19 cases: three family members of an infected worker at a quarantine hotel and a family member of an infected pilot. The new cases bring the number of infections involving China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) pilots and the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, where many of the airline’s crew members quarantined, to 24. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said three of them are the husband, son and daughter of case No. 1,129, a woman in her 60s, who works at the hotel. The son is in
NEXT STEP? The contract chipmaker said it would decide whether to add more plants based on operation efficiency, cost economics and demand Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to build several more chipmaking fabs in the US state of Arizona beyond the one already planned, three people familiar with the matter said. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May last year that it would build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. The 12-inch wafer fab in Phoenix is expected to start mass production in 2024, the Investment Commission said in December, when it approved the plan. Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that up
VIRUS CURBS: Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan is banned until May 17, the CECC announced The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday banned visits to patients or residents at healthcare and long-term care facilities in three cities until May 17. It also reported six imported cases of COVID-19 and two cases with unclear infection sources. As the number of locally transmitted cases rises, some of whom have visited many places in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, enhanced disease prevention measures have to be implemented in the three cities, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and