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Taiwan Coast Guard intercepts 14 undocumented Vietnamese at sea

2019/07/14 18:42:03

Contributed photo by the Coast Guard Administration

Taipei, July 14 (CNA) Fourteen undocumented Vietnamese immigrants were apprehended on board a Taiwanese fishing boat in waters off of the Tainan area on Saturday, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) announced Sunday.

The Pingtung Reconnaissance Brigade intercepted the fishing boat that was carrying 14 Vietnamese nationals, after receiving a tip that a human trafficking syndicate planned to smuggle Vietnamese nationals via China to Taiwan, the CGA said in a statement.

Before dawn on Saturday, Coast Guard officers patrolling waters off the Tainan coast intercepted the fishing boat and found the 14 Vietnamese and along with three Taiwanese who were there to arrange passage for the undocumented immigrants into Taiwan.

The Vietnamese nationals -- eight males and six females -- were being smuggled into Taiwan to work, the CGA said. They are currently being held for questioning and will be turned over to the Pingtung Specialized Operation Brigade under the National Immigration Agency for deportation.

Incidents like this are not uncommon. On June 13, 19 undocumented Vietnamese posing as tourists were apprehended on the Taiwan-held Matsu islands.

They were brought to Matsu by human trafficking rings and were supposed to enter Taiwan posing as tourists by taking ferries that cruise between Matsu and Taiwan.

In January 2017, 40 undocumented Vietnamese were intercepted on a Taiwanese fishing boat off of Sandiao Cape in northern Taiwan. The case was said to be the biggest in terms of the number of undocumented Vietnamese caught in recent years.

Investigations have shown that Vietnamese are willing to pay as much as US$7,000 to be able to enter Taiwan to work illegally.

(By Chang Jung-hsiang and Emerson Lim)