Taiwan cracks illegal migrant worker broker group
Taipei, Jan. 29 (CNA) The National Immigration Agency (NIA) announced Tuesday that it had discovered an illegal migrant worker broker group, resulting in the arrests of the prime suspect, identified by his surname Chu (朱) and his alleged accomplice, surnamed Hsu (徐).
According to the NIA, 31 unaccounted-for Indonesian migrant workers and more than 30 illegal employers were involved.
In a joint effort between the police department, the New Taipei City Department of Labor Affairs and the NIA, 12 teams searched locations in Keelung City, Taipei, New Taipei and Taoyuan, said Chen Chia-hung (陳家弘), deputy head of the NIA's New Taipei City Brigade.
Chen said the team seized around NT$100,000 (US$3,243), six mobile phones, the migrant workers' passports and residence permits and a large number of dispatch notes.
To gain the trust of those wishing to hire a migrant caretaker for older family members, Chen said that Chu set up a website under the pseudonym "Mr. Chen," offering round-the-clock professional home-care services.
Chu claimed that the workers were legal and charged his clients up to NT$2,200 (US$71) per day for the service, said Chen.
Chu took half of the service fee as a broker commission, Chen added.
The NIA said the migrant workers will be deported, while those who breached employment laws by recruiting illegal migrant workers will be subject to fines of between NT$150,000 and NT$750,000.
Chu was allowed by the New Taipei District Court to post bail of NT$300,000.
The joint operation was just the latest effort to crack down on illegal immigrants.
Another eight undocumented Indonesian migrant workers have been detained over the past week after being caught when their taxi was pulled over by Taoyuan police late Jan. 19.
They have been held in an NIA detention center since being taken into custody.
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