25 illegal migrant workers arrested in S. Taiwan

Undocumented migrant workers were installing solar panels in Tainan

  4731
Illegal migrant workers arrested at scene. (NIA photo)

Illegal migrant workers arrested at scene. (NIA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The National Immigration Agency (NIA) on Tuesday (Aug. 4) announced that a total of 25 undocumented migrant workers were recently arrested in the southern city of Tainan.

NIA official Huang Rui-ching (黃濬清) on Tuesday said the agency had recently received a tip that a number of unaccounted for migrant workers were dwelling in three houses in Tainan City's Jiangjun District. Each day, they were allegedly driven to construction sites in the city's Cigu District before being returned later in the day, reported CNA.

Huang said that after conducting an investigation, the NIA worked with the Tainan City Labor Bureau and Police Department to put together a task force. As the migrant workers were known to be shuttled to worksites in the early morning, the task force dispatched officers to raid the three Jiangjun District locations while their inhabitants still slept.

During simultaneous raids, officers sealed off both the front and back doors to prevent the suspects from escaping. As it was still dark when agents entered their living quarters, many migrants were still sleeping and were quickly apprehended before they could attempt to flee.

Huang said that according to a preliminary investigation, the migrants were all employed installing solar panels for a rate of NT$1,600 (US$55) per day. Huang added that the task force will continue to search for their employers as well as any brokers who may have been involved.

The NIA exhorted employers not to hire unaccounted for migrant workers or illegal immigrants. If caught doing so, employers face fines of between NT$150,000 and NT$750,000, with a possible prison sentence for repeat offenders.