The highway connecting Kaohsiung County and Tainan County in Taiwan where police stopped the van. Photo: Google Maps

Eight Indonesians being taken to work at a poultry farm in Taiwan were “rescued” by Kaohsiung police on Thursday night, while a Taiwanese man driving the van carrying the illegal workers was also detained.

Kaohsiung police intercepted the van at a junction on the border of Kaohsiung County and Tainan counties, The Central News Agency reported. The eight passengers were all Indonesians. Two were identified as migrant workers who no longer had valid work visas, while the remaining six had entered Taiwan on travel visas which had all expired, some for up to three years.

Police were initially confused when the workers thanked them or stopping the van. They admitted that they were fed up with playing hide-and-seek from the authorities and happy they would be able to return home to Indonesia to see their families.

The Taiwanese driver told police the group of migrant workers were ideal for the poultry farm as they were cheap labor and hard-working. A preliminary police investigation found that the driver was not only responsible for taking migrant workers to the poultry farm, but he also fed the animals and built workers’ hostels there.

Police said they would carry out further investigations about the driver’s role in the poultry farm before filing charges such as violating the Employment Services Act against him.

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