7 Vietnamese stowaways arrested on Matsu

TAIPEI (CNA) — Coast Guard Administration (CGA) officials said Monday they have arrested seven Vietnamese on Matsu’s Beigan Island who were hoping to sneak into Taiwan and three other Vietnamese suspected of being involved in the human trafficking operation.

Acting on a tip-off that some Vietnamese were planning to smuggle other Vietnamese into Taiwan by taking advantage of the peak travel season on Matsu, CGA officers put the suspects under surveillance and launched a search operation at Beigan Airport and their hideout last Friday.

As a result, the seven Vietnamese stowaways and the three Vietnamese on hand to take them into Taiwan were arrested and sent to Fuao Harbor on Nangan Island for a 14-day quarantine to prevent the possibility of COVID-19 transmission, according to the CGA.

The CGA’s Lienchiang branch said the Vietnamese human trafficking ring recruited Vietnamese who wanted to illegally enter Taiwan to pay US$7,000 for landing them in China’s coastal areas and bringing them to Matsu, where they were to meet ring members to get into Taiwan.

The suspects will be referred to the Fuchien Lienchiang District Prosecutors Office for further investigation in accordance with the Immigration Act.