Undocumented migrant workers arrested at Taichung ASEAN Plaza

Taichung  A dozen undocumented migrant workers were arrested during a sweep of Taichung’s ASEAN Plaza over the weekend, according to police Tuesday.

A total of 12 undocumented Vietnamese and Indonesian migrant workers 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 Saturday by visiting a number of dance clubs located on the plaza’s sixth floor where they arrested five undocumented male Vietnamese workers before conducting spot checks on the seventh floor, the statement said.

While inside a club on the seventh floor, the police found a hidden door that led to a small room where four undocumented Indonesian workers, two men and two women, were hiding, the statement said.

The remaining three workers, 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 ID documents checked during the two-day sweep.

Chou Chun-ming , deputy chief of Taichung City Police Department’s First Precinct, said ASEAN Plaza is a popular venue for migrant workers to shop and has several Southeast Asia-themed clubs.

The police will continue to conduct weekly spot checks in the area, and encourage undocumented migrant workers to proactively contact the NIA for assistance to be deported back to their country of origin, Chou said.

Meanwhile, the NIA also issued a statement on Saturday, saying that an ongoing amnesty program for foreign nationals who have overstayed their visas will soon expire.

The “Expanded Overstayers Voluntary Departure Program,” which runs until June 30, has no mandatory detention, while the maximum penalty is NT$2,000 (US$68) with no re-entry ban, compared with detention, a maximum fine of NT$10,000 and an entry ban of 1-8 years for those arrested by police.

There are a total of 49,859 undocumented migrant workers in Taiwan, according to NIA statistics valid as of the end of April.

 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

 

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