TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Eight unaccounted for Indonesian migrant workers have been detained for the past week after being arrested in a taxi by police in northern Taiwan on Jan. 19, reported CNA.
During a routine road block, Taoyuan City police spotted eight Indonesian workers acting suspiciously in a taxi. After determining their identities, police discovered that they were on a wanted list for leaving their employers.
Taoyuan police officer Lin Wu-chieh (林武傑) said that while conducting spot checks at 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, they spotted a taxi with many foreign migrant workers inside. When the foreign female migrant workers inside the cab saw police, they immediately appeared to try to duck down and conceal themselves.
Police immediately noticed that the passengers were acting suspicious and directed patrol cars to immediately intercept the vehicle. Lin said a total of eight Indonesian nationals were inside the taxi, including six men and two women.
When they were stopped by a police squad car, they appeared to panic. When questioned by police, they shook their heads to indicate they did not understand and responded in their native language.
They even tried to open the car door and flee on foot. Their continued suspicious behavior led officers to call for backup.
After an initial investigation, police found that the eight migrant workers were on a wanted list for leaving their previous place of employment.
Lin said that the six male migrant workers had come to Taiwan to work on fishing boats, while the two women had been hired to serve as caregivers. The eight told police that they had escaped for reasons such as not adapting to the working environment, low pay, and conflict with their coworkers.
While they were on the run, they depended on the help of friends or took part-time jobs to survive. On the night of their arrest, they took a taxi to visit some friends after attending a party in Taoyuan.
Since their arrest, the eight have been held in a detention center run by the National Immigration Agency and will likely face deportation.
Police officer shines flashlight on passenger. (Taoyuan Police Department image)