TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — National Immigration Agency (NIA) officers last week arrested 35 undocumented Vietnamese migrant workers in a large steel mill in central Taiwan.
The Changhua County Special Task Force of the NIA received a tip that many undocumented migrant workers were employed at a steel mill in Changhua Count's Hemei Township. The facility is situated in the middle of a field and was difficult to locate.
In order to avoid drawing attention, immigration officers pretended to be farmers while they gathered evidence. The NIA then formed a task force with police from Yuanlin City, Hemei Township, and Taichung to investigate the factory.
Training materials posted on factory wall. (NIA photo)
Just before the start of the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday last week, 50 officers were deployed to launch a raid on the factory. Once inside, officers encountered 35 Vietnamese undocumented migrant workers and visa violators, reported UDN.
They also found training photos captioned in Vietnamese explaining the process of steel grinding, indicating that it was a large-scale operation. Due to the pandemic, officers measured the suspects' temperatures and carried out disinfection.
NIA agent checks temperature of migrant worker. (NIA photo)
The NIA also dispatched medium-sized buses to transport the migrant workers to Show Chwan Memorial Hospital to undergo PCR testing. All of the migrants tested negative for COVID-19.
The undocumented workers were then taken to shelters to await processing for repatriation. The NIA warned that business owners who employ migrant workers illegally can face fines of between NT$150,000 and NT$750,000 for violating the Employment Service Act (就業服務法).
Migrant workers get on a bus to be transported to hospital for PCR tests. (NIA photo)
Employers caught repeating the offense within five years could face a prison sentence of up to three years or a fine of up to NT$1.2 million.