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58 Taiwanese arrested in Philippines for working illegally

2019/02/20 22:35:31

Image for illustrative purposes only / Image taken from Pixabay

Manila, Feb. 20 (CNA) Fifty-eight Taiwanese were arrested during a raid earlier this week on a network technology company in the Philippines on suspicion of working illegally, Taiwan's representative office in Manila confirmed Wednesday.

The 30 men and 28 women are being held at the headquarters of the Bureau of Immigration, along with a number of Chinese nationals who were also arrested during the raid, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) said.

The 58 Taiwanese were among 276 foreign nationals arrested on suspicion of working illegally at the company in Makati, which runs an online gambling business, according to a local media report.

Citing Intelligence Division Chief at the immigration bureau, Fortunato Manahan Jr., the report said the 276 foreign nationals were arrested, pending verification of their travel documents and immigration status.

"Most were undocumented, and were unable to present any proof showing their status here, during the arrest," Manahan was quoted as saying.

He said the foreign nationals may be deported if they are found to have been working without the proper visas.

According to TECO officials who visited the Taiwanese detainees, however, all 58 of them said they did not fall into that category.

Some of them said the company was in the process of obtaining work visas for them, while others said they had already secured such visas but the documents were in the possession of the company, which was seeking visa extensions for them.

TECO said it has asked the Philippines to carry out a fair and just investigation and protect the legal rights of the Taiwanese.

(By Emerson Lim and Elizabeth Hsu)