National Immigration Agency punishes detention staff after escape

The China Post staff

National Immigration Agency (NIA) yesterday issued punishments for ten NIA officials and staff members of a detention center in Ilan County after ten Vietnamese women escaped from the facility last Friday. The NIA decided after a meeting yesterday to issue administrative penalties to ten NIA officials and staff members of the detention center, including an admonishment for deputy director general Wu Shyun-yann. The director of the Ilan detention center Lin Yi-chun received two admonishments for the escape of the detainees less than one month after he assumed his post. Wu said that the NIA has begun a comprehensive review of the escape, the second from an Ilan detention center in two weeks, and will focus efforts in four major areas. The NIA will make improvements in the distribution of manpower for the detention center, equipment and facilities of the center, rules governing the detained foreign laborers, and the center’s operations, said Wu. The deputy director general said that priority will be placed on providing sufficient manpower for the detention center, which had been claimed by the NIA to be understaffed. Ministry of the Interior has ordered the National Police Agency to place 108 substitute military conscripts for duty at detention centers in Ilan County beginning today to fill the manpower shortage. On Friday, at around 4 a.m., unknown intruders cut through the steel window frame of a second-floor room at a detention center in Ilan County to free three Vietnamese women inside.

They were immediately taken away by an escape vehicle waiting outside. Seven other women, also from Vietnam, took the chance to escape from the same window and disappeared. One woman was reapprehended when she attempted to shop at a convenience store nearby before noon. NIA police and officials have alerted law enforcement throughout Taiwan. Five Vietnamese men worked together to form a pyramid and break the ventilation system at another detention center in Ilan on Aug. 1. The five are still at large. The detainees included those brought into Taiwan by human-trafficking organizations with the men assigned to work as laborers and women working often as prostitutes.