A dozen undocumented migrants were arrested during a sweep of Taichung’s ASEAN Plaza over the weekend, police said on Tuesday.
Twelve undocumented Vietnamese and Indonesians detained on Saturday and Sunday have been transferred to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) to await deportation, the police said in a statement.
The authorities launched the operation on Saturday by visiting a number of dance clubs on the plaza’s sixth floor, where they arrested five undocumented Vietnamese men before conducting spot checks on the seventh floor, the statement said.
Photo: Hsu Kuo-chen, Taipei Times
While inside a club on the seventh floor, police found a hidden door that led to a small room where four undocumented Indonesians — two men and two women — were hiding, the statement said.
The remaining three — a Vietnamese and two Indonesian women — were detained when the police returned on Sunday to conduct general spot checks in the area, the statement said.
The police did not provide information on how many people were stopped or identification documents checked during the two-day sweep.
ASEAN Plaza is a popular venue for migrants to shop and has several Southeast Asia-themed clubs, Taichung Police Department’s First Precinct Deputy Chief Chou Chun-ming (周俊銘) said.
Police will continue to conduct weekly spot checks in the area and encourage undocumented migrants to proactively contact the NIA for assistance to be deported back to their country of origin, Chou said.
The NIA also issued a statement on Saturday, saying that an ongoing amnesty program for foreigners who have overstayed their visas would soon expire.
The “Expanded Overstayers Voluntary Departure Program,” which runs until Tuesday next week, has no mandatory detention, a maximum penalty of NT$2,000 and no re-entry ban, compared with detention, a maximum fine of NT$10,000 and an entry ban of one to eight years for those arrested by police.
There are a total of 49,859 undocumented migrants in Taiwan, NIA statistics as of the end of April showed.
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