New Taipei City Poultry Marketing Cooperative and Affiliated Slaughterhouse in Tai Shan district, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A total of 85 foreigners were arrested for allegedly working illegally at a slaughterhouse in New Taipei City on Tuesday.

The arrests were made during a joint operation led by city police with the assistance from National Immigration Agency officials and military police.

More than 200 officers from various taskforces raided the New Taipei City Poultry Marketing Cooperative and Affiliated Slaughterhouse in Tai Shan district at 11pm of January 16, police from New Taipei’s Xinzhuang district said on Wednesday, The Liberty Times reported.

District police had been monitoring the plant for two months prior to the late-night raid after complaints from citizens about suspicious activity – foreign workers going in and out of the slaughterhouse late at night every day.

Preliminary inquiries revealed the 85 foreign nationals arrested came from Indonesia or Vietnam; 67 were identified as runaway workers while the remaining 18 were holders of tourist or family visit visas.

Most got their jobs through employment agencies and earned around NT$25,000 (US$845) a month at the plant.

It was not the first time that the slaughterhouse has hired illegal migrant workers. Last September, 78 illegal migrant workers were intercepted and seven employers responsible for hiring them were fined NT$3 million (US$101,493).

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