TAIPEI (CNA) — Forty-seven of the 148 Vietnamese tourists who “went missing” shortly after entering Taiwan in four tour groups in December have so far been found, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said on Jan. 7.
As of 8 a.m. Monday, 28 men and 19 women had been located, including 23 arrested and 24 who surrendered to police. The search continues for the remaining 70 men and 31 women who are unaccounted for, according to the NIA.
The agency said that 152 of the 153 Vietnamese nationals who came in four tour groups that arrived on Dec. 21 and Dec. 23 were reported “missing” after entering Taiwan. It was later determined that only one tourist’s whereabouts were known, while three other Vietnamese had since left Taiwan.
According to Vietnamese media VnExpress on Dec. 29, some of the Vietnamese said they spent between NT$20,000 (US$650) and NT$70,000 to be part of the tour groups to Taiwan, before “disappearing” with the help of friends.
Other said they fled the tour groups hoping to stay in Taiwan to work illegally, VnExpress said.
By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao