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Taiwanese men to return home from India after legal entanglement

2012/06/20 18:05:27

New Delhi, June 20 (CNA) Eight Taiwanese nationals who were recently found guilty of illegally working in India are expected to take a flight home Thursday following their release from detention.

The men, who entered India on tourist visas between early April and May, were arrested June 12 during a police raid on a Tibetan community near Jogindernagar in Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh, where they were hired to work at a house construction site.

A local court on Tuesday found them guilty of taking up illegal employment and entering a restricted area unlawfully and fined each of them 10,000 Indian rupees (US$179). The court also ruled that they be released immediately.

Arriving in New Delhi Wednesday, the eight people told CNA they were prepared to take a flight back to Taiwan early Thursday.

They complained that Mandi police delayed their release for hours despite the court order and described the 15-hour trip from Jogindernagar to New Delhi as "nerve-racking" because they feared the police might block their departure using other excuses.

"We're finally safe now," said one of the men, surnamed Liu, with a sigh of relief.

According to Indian media reports, the eight Taiwanese men were initially suspected of being spies from China, but the case was later found to be a misunderstanding.

During their detention, Mandi police also accused some of them of registering their mobile SIM cards using falsified documents.

(By Ho Horn-ru and Y.F. Low)