NIA urges 124 rogue Vietnamese tourists still in Taiwan to surrender

After taking 24 runaway Vietnamese tourists into custody, NIA urges 124 still on the loose in Taiwan to turn themselves in

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(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Of the 152 Vietnamese tourists who went missing late last month, 24 are in police custody, and the National Immigration Agency (NIA) urges the remaining 124 on the loose to turn themselves in.

Since the NIA's specialized operations brigade began a search for 152 Vietnamese tourists who had gone missing from the four tour groups they had originally arrived to Taiwan with, 24 are in police custody, and after subtracting four who have returned to Vietnam voluntarily, 124 still remain on the loose.

At a press conference held at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Aiport on New Year's Day, the NIA appealed to Vietnamese who knew or had contact with any of the runaway tourists to inform them that they should meet with the NIA or police as soon as possible. The NIA said that, although they have violated the law, those who turn themselves will be treated with leniency and will be allowed to quickly return to their home country.

As of Jan. 1, of the 124 rogue Vietnamese tourists at large, 24 have been accounted for, including 15 who were arrested and nine who turned themselves in. The NIA said that those Vietnamese tourists who have been found to have violated Article 74 of the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法) could be sentenced to up to three years in prison or face a fine of up to NT$90,000 (NT$2,900).

In addition, because the missing Vietnamese tourists have violated the law, anyone who has provided shelter or assistance to them may be sentenced to up to two years in prison for committing the Offense of Concealment of Offender (藏匿人犯罪). The NIA urged the public not to defy the law.

Those who have information on any of the missing tourists or wish to turn themselves in can call the following NIA numbers:

Northern District Affairs Corps (Khu Bắc): 02-29611356
Central District Affairs Corps (Khu Trung): 04-24725102
Southern District Affairs Corps (Khu Nam): 0988-955971
Border Affairs Corps (Xuất nhập cảnh): 0933-090291