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)