National Immigration Agency, Taipei City, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

Various Taiwanese authorities led by a special service corps from the National Immigration Agency jointly raided a slaughterhouse in New Taipei City late on Wednesday, culminating in the arrests of 78 suspected runaway workers and nine employers who had allegedly hired them illegally.

After receiving intelligence reports, 130 officers from authorities including the military, the police, an investigation team, and the National Immigration Agency busted the slaughterhouse at 11pm on Wednesday, The Liberty Times reported.

The arrest of 78 suspected runaway workers in a single raid was the highest number recorded in 10 years, even though they were said to have been well hidden in every dark corner of the building they could find.

Four were identified as Vietnamese nationals and the remaining 74 came from Indonesia. They were each paid NT$23,000 (US$760) a month and there was no evidence that they were working  involuntarily  or being detained on the premises.

According to China Times, the slaughterhouse has nine production lines, each overseen by a Taiwanese manager.

They all refused to acknowledge that the employees were runaways, and they also denied they had been hired illegally.

The workers were expected to be deported upon the completion of the investigation.

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