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Taiwan mulls new measures to clamp down on illegal foreign workers

Government officials propose checks on return tickets and hotel bookings

Police found several of the missing Vietnamese over the past few days.

Police found several of the missing Vietnamese over the past few days. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - After 152 Vietnamese tourists went missing, the government was considering tougher measures, including checks on return tickets and hotel bookings, reports said Saturday.

Top government members, including the Interior Minister, the Foreign Minister and the new head of the National Immigration Agency (NIA) held a meeting on the subject Saturday and reached a consensus, the Apple Daily reported.

Not only will visitors be asked to present the ticket for their return flight and their booking details, but there will be a quicker reporting system so that when problems occur, the NIA and the police will be able to intervene faster.

Travel agencies responsible for organizing the trips would be disciplined and fined if their customers turned out not to be real tourists but illegal workers, officials said.

The new measures will be applicable to a special program under the government’s New Southbound Policy favoring groups from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Since the program started in late 2015, more than 500 Vietnamese, including the latest group, were found to have gone missing after arriving in Taiwan.

Government officials have said that organized crime is behind the mass disappearances, the Apple Daily reported.