Sanlong Street neighborhood in Shulin district, New Taipei City. Photo: Google Maps

The demolition of an originally two-story building with four illegal stories erected on top, which had contained more than 100 cubicles where more than 40 migrant workers were once illegally held, was completed on Wednesday in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

In April, police received a citizen’s report regarding a suspected case of human trafficking involving 10 foreign men and 30 women living inside a building on Sanlong Street in Shulin district, New Taipei City, The Liberty Times reported.

The prime suspect surnamed Chen, along with five male associates, rented the whole building from a landlord who illegally added four stories to his two-story property.

Chen and his accomplices altered the interior by subdividing each floor into 30 units where one Vietnamese and 39 Indonesian nationals were confined, most of whom were forced to work as caregivers by day and were drugged with amphetamines at night.

Each migrant worker was charged between NT$2,000 and NT$5,000 (US$65-$165) a month for rent. Their living conditions were reportedly abhorrent.

According to the police investigation, Chen targeted migrant workers whose work permits had expired or those who were in financial need, and promised them jobs and accommodation.

The demolition of the illegal structure started on November 8 and was completed on Wednesday.