Taiwan arrests record number of overstayers, mostly Vietnamese and Indonesians

Taiwanese illegal employers and brokers were also detained

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Arrests during a previous crackdown on unaccounted-for foreign workers.

Arrests during a previous crackdown on unaccounted-for foreign workers. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The National Immigration Agency (NIA) arrested a record 387 visa overstayers in one day Saturday (October 19), the bulk hailing from Vietnam and Indonesia.

From the early hours of the morning until 4 p.m., a total of 687 agents of the NIA, the Coast Guard and the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau went searching for people who had stayed on longer than the law allowed, the Central News Agency reported.

The search turned up 240 unaccounted-for foreign workers, including 122 Indonesians and 112 Vietnamese. A further 147 people had overstayed their visa, with 82 of those hailing from Vietnam and 51 from Indonesia.

In addition, 140 Taiwanese arrested were illegal employers and 35 were employment brokers, according to the CNA report.

While a program to entice unaccounted-for workers and others to give themselves up had expired after the first half of the year, the infrastructure was still in place, the NIA said, encouraging illegals to turn up. After paying a fine ranging from NT$2,000 (US$65) to NT$10,000, they would receive assistance to return to their home country.

The NIA also warned employers not to break the law, since they could risk a fine of up to NT$750,000, CNA reported.