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Ghanaian woman arrested for being in Taiwan illegally 33 years

10/21/2023 11:03 PM
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Image from Pixabay for illustrative purpose only
Image from Pixabay for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) Police recently arrested a Ghanaian national on suspicion of illegally staying in Taiwan an estimated 33 years, after officers noticed her "behaving suspiciously" on being approached by law enforcement in New Taipei's Luzhou District.

Officers were patrolling the streets of Luzhou at around 7 a.m. on Oct. 14 when they spotted the woman, who tried to hide as they approached her, Chiang Yen-shao (蔣延紹), head of the Luzhou Police Station said in a statement released Saturday.

The police officers asked the woman to identify herself but she failed to present a valid residence permit or a passport, Chiang said.

After an investigation, Chiang said, police found the 63-year-old woman comes from Ghana in Africa. She entered Taiwan for the first time in June 1989 after a transit from Hong Kong, and left in March 1990.

However, there are no immigration records to show when the woman re-entered Taiwan, according to police.

Police quoted the Ghanaian national as saying, through an interpreter, that she lives alone in a rented residence and works as a cleaner for a living.

Further investigation is needed to determine why there are no immigration records of the Ghanaian national re-entering Taiwan and how she was able to live illegally in Taiwan for so long without being arrested, police said.

The Ghanaian woman has been handed over to prosecutors for further investigation on suspicion of violating Taiwan's immigration law, police said. She is currently being held in a shelter provided by the New Taipei service center of the National Immigration Agency.

(By Sunrise Huang and Frances Huang)

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