Coast Guard intercepts people smugglers in southern Taiwan waters

Twelve Vietnamese nationals and two Taiwanese boat crew have been detained after coast guard officers intercepted a fishing vessel off the coast of Pingtung County three days ago.

According to United Daily News, Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration detected a suspicious fishing boat off the coast near Fangliao Fishing Port on the evening of April 3.

Coast guard officers intercepted and boarded the vessel, and upon inspection found 12 Vietnamese nationals suspected to be attempting to enter the country illegally.

According to the investigation so far, it is suspected that the nine male and three female Vietnamese nationals, all aged in their 20s, boarded a Chinese fishing boat in Fujian Province, China, before being transferred to the Taiwanese fishing boat in the middle of the Taiwan Strait.

The Pingtung District Court approved a request to detain two Taiwanese nationals, including the captain of the fishing vessel, named Guo, and a crew member, named Ye, who were promised NT$30,000 to NT$50,000 to transport the Vietnamese to Taiwan. Guo and Ye claim that they had not yet received the payment.

Guo and Ye were charged on suspicion of offences under Article 74 of the Immigration Act.

suspected illegal immigrants on dock
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