Taiwan's southwest waters witnessed the discovery of 10 floating bodies last year, which, after police investigation, were determined to be foreign migrant workers who had failed in their attempt at "self-help smuggling." On January 26, the Control Yuan pointed out that Vietnamese smuggling attempts, known as "self-help smuggling," involve individuals driving from China's Fujian province but unfortunately succumbing to a maritime accident. The Control Yuan urged the Executive Yuan to address the imbalance in migrant worker policies, which has led to ineffective prevention of smuggling.
The Control Yuan's investigation covered the period from February 27 to April 7 of the previous year when 24 unidentified bodies were found along the coastal areas in western Taiwan. The investigation report, proposed by Control Yuan members Yeh Dah-Hua and Poo Chung-Cheng, calls for the Executive Yuan to oversee relevant agencies' thorough review and improvement. Two investigating Control Yuan members held a press conference to discuss the findings.
Control Yuan member Yeh Dah-Hua stated that the government has neglected the continuous influx of people-smuggling syndicates bringing Vietnamese individuals to Taiwan. These syndicates collaborate with the Vietnamese community in Taiwan, forming a transnational criminal model. Yeh warned that this situation might develop into human trafficking routes or pose national security concerns. He believes that the widespread issue of Vietnamese migrant workers attempting to smuggle themselves into Taiwan requires the attention of the Taiwanese government.
Of the 24 bodies discovered last year on the west coast, 10 were Vietnamese. The investigation revealed that on February 18 of the same year, 14 Vietnamese individuals attempted "self-help smuggling" by purchasing a boat on the coast of Fujian, China, to enter Taiwan. Adverse weather conditions led to the overturning of the boat, resulting in the drowning of 10 individuals, while four others remain missing. The Tainan District Prosecutor's Office has issued arrest warrants for the 14 individuals.
The Control Yuan highlighted that the rampant smuggling by Vietnamese nationals is one of the outcomes of Taiwan's imbalanced migrant worker policies. Previous investigations have indicated that factors contributing to illegal employment and fleeing from brokers include high debts due to exorbitant intermediary fees, low wages and unfavorable working conditions for legal employment, and a severe shortage of manpower in certain industries. The Control Yuan urged the Executive Yuan to address the root causes of smuggling, emphasizing the need to improve the imbalance in migrant worker policies.
〔NOWnews /Lai Zhenglin（賴正琳）, International Center/Comprehensive Report〕2024-01-26 15:00:50
〔Photo by reporter Wang Minxu （王敏旭）〕