6 Vietnamese stowaways break out of quarantine in W. Taiwan

6 undocumented immigrants at large after escaping from detention facilities in Western Taiwan

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CGA officer points out narrow opening men fled through. (CGA photo)

CGA officer points out narrow opening men fled through. (CGA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Six Vietnamese nationals who had been arrested for trying to sneak into the country illegally escaped from their quarantine and detention facility in western Taiwan on Tuesday morning (March 24).

On Saturday, officers from the Lienchiang branch of the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) arrested a total of 31 undocumented Vietnamese nationals, including 24 men and seven women, stowed away inside Taiwanese fishing boat off the coast of Xiaoliuqiu island. However, at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, CGA officers found that six of the detainees had escaped.

According to a preliminary investigation, the six probably made their escape through a window late the previous night, reported Liberty Times. However, one of the detainees was apparently unable to escape from the room due to being too overweight to fit through the narrow window.

A total of 15 detainees had originally been placed in a resettlement shelter in the Zhonggang area of Taichung's Qingshui District. The shelter contained dormitory-style rooms that held three to four people each.

On Tuesday morning, CGA officers found that three male detainees had broken the metal bars blocking the transom from Room No. 1 and fled out the opening. However, one had remained behind, as he was apparently unable to fit through the window.

An additional three male detainees broke the bars covering the aluminum-framed window in Room No. 4 to clear the way for their escape. Officers believe that the escape occurred during the previous night, but they are not sure of the exact time and further investigation is needed.

Hsu Chi-ling (許績陵), deputy director of the CGA, said that the six had been carefully examined by epidemic prevention personnel and that none of them were presenting symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). He called on the public not to panic and that the personnel who were on duty at the time will be reprimanded.

Meanwhile, Hsu said the remaining nine detainees have been placed together and cuffed. He added that additional guards have been added to ensure better security.

Hsu identified the six escapees as Dao Van Coi (陶文哥, 29), Tran Van Tuan (陳文俊, 26), Quat Van Bac (曲文北, 28), Hoang Nghia Cuong (黃義弘, 30), Nguyen Van Hai (阮文二, 33), and Nguyen Van Tuan (阮文俊, 35).


Outside view of busted transom. (CGA photo)


Inside view of busted transom. (CGA photo)


Window of Room No. 4 through which detainees fled. (CGA photo)


Bars and barbed wire outside the compound. (CGA photo)

The following are the mugshots of the six escapees:


(CGA photo)


(CGA photo)


(CGA photo)


(CGA photo)


(CGA photo)


(CGA photo)