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Another runaway Vietnamese tourist found: NIA

2019/01/01 17:03

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) One more of the 148 Vietnamese tourists who ran away after entering Taiwan in four tour groups in December has been found, as the search for the other visitors continues, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Tuesday.

The NIA did not provide any details on the individual, other than to say that 24 of the missing tourists had been found as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Of the 24, 10 were male and 14 female, 15 were caught by law enforcement authorities while nine surrendered to the authorities, the NIA said. Of the 124 Vietnamese nationals who are still missing, 88 are male and 36 are female.

The 148 tourists ran away after arriving in Taiwan in four tour groups on Dec. 21 and Dec. 23, according to the NIA.

A report by Vietnamese media VnExpress said Tuesday that Ho Chi Minh City-based International Holidays Trading Travel Co. was fined US$1,421 and had its international tour operation business license revoked for a year.

The travel agency was responsible for creating itineraries and applying for visas on behalf of the Vietnamese tourists, the report said.

The report also indicated that the city's department of tourism has determined the company failed to provide documents to prove its legal authorization to sign visa provision contracts with Taipei -based ETholiday travel agency, which received the tourists in Taiwan.

It was similarly unauthorized to provide those services to two other Vietnamese travel agencies, Golden Travel and Twin Bright, which organized the tour groups in Vietnam.

Hanoi-based Golden Travel has been fined US$2,090 and has had its international tour operation business license revoked for nine months for allowing tour guides without proper licenses to lead tour groups and not managing tourists as per contracted arrangements, the report said.

(By Huang Li-yun, Fan Chin-yi and Ko Lin)Enditem/AW