TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two undocumented migrant workers attempted to convince police in Kaohsiung City that they were members of an Indigenous group to avoid being arrested and deported.
Two police officers from the Fengshan Precinct Wenshan Police Station were on patrol at about 5 p.m. on Saturday night (Nov. 4) when they reached the intersection of Wenping Street and Wenfeng Road in Fengshan District, reported Liberty Times. They discovered that the rear lights of an SUV were not on and when they pulled the vehicle over, they noticed two male passengers in the back seat appeared nervous.
The driver, a woman surnamed Sun (孫), claimed that the two men were her coworkers from a construction site and she was taking them home. When officers asked the two male passengers to show their IDs, they hesitated and failed to produce their IDs.
Occupants of SUV questioned by police. (Kaohsiung City Police Department photo)
Noticing that their Mandarin had a non-native accent, they asked if the men were Taiwanese and asked that they tell them their ID numbers. Despite repeating the question several times, the two passengers did not respond.
Suspecting that they were unaccounted-for migrant workers, the officers directly asked the men, "How long have you been on the run?" The two denied being on the run and reportedly attempted to speak with an Indigenous Mandarin accent, saying, "Our documents are at home."
Two Indonesian men placed in handcuffs and escorted to patrol car. (Kaohsiung City Police Department photo)
The officers then asked if they were Indigenous Taiwanese, and one said "Yes." The officer then asked, "Which tribe are you from?" One of the individuals responded, "Maolin Tribe," which is a non-existent tribe.
After conducting a background check on the two men, they found that one was a 32-year-old Indonesian national identified as "Dani" and the other was a 30-year-old Indonesian citizen listed by the nickname "Xiao Ma." Dani had been reported missing in December 2021, while Xiao Ma was reported missing in February 2020.
Two Indonesian men were taken to Wenshan Police Station. (Kaohsiung City Police Department photo)
Police placed both men under arrest and transferred them to immigration authorities. After undergoing questioning, the two were transferred to the Kaohsiung City Specialized Operation Brigade of the National Immigration Agency to be deported from Taiwan for breaching the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法).
In addition, Sun faces fines of between NT$900 (US$28) and NT$1,800 as her SUV's broken tail lights are a violation of Article 16, Item 1, Paragraph 2 of the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例).