The Taipei District Prosecutor's Office in Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A Taiwanese man who allegedly hired illegal migrants from Vietnam to work in his business and forced them to take drugs and beat them has been arrested in Taipei.

The 39-year-old man, who ran a business cleaning up construction sites in Taipei, was arrested along with six others last Wednesday. It is alleged he hired illegal migrant workers, underpaid them, fed them illicit drugs and beat them, The United Daily News reported.

In order to cut costs, police claim the man hired only illegal migrant workers, mostly from Vietnam, who would accept wages as low as NT$800 (US$27) a day, compared with legal workers who would have to be paid about NT$2,000 to NT$3,000 a day.

The man, who admitted to using illicit drugs himself, allegedly forced his migrant employees to take amphetamines so they would be easier to control and would work harder. He also allegedly beat his employees if they complained.

The case came to light after another man who ran a similar business filed a report to authorities exposing the illegal operation.

On April 11, officers from the National Immigration Agency raided the company and arrested the owner and six others. Those arrested included a female business partner, the man’s ex-wife and an illegal migrant worker from Vietnam.

Steel rods used in beatings and glass pipes used to smoke illicit substances were also seized during the raid.

Officers learned the Vietnamese woman who was arrested worked as an interpreter between the business owner and the illegal Vietnamese workers. She claimed the man had beaten her and scratched her with a knife and that she had also been forced to have sex with the man and undergone illegal abortions.

The woman was given protection at a government shelter, while the business owner and the others arrested were detained and assisting investigations by the Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office. Evidence was being gathered  to press charges of theft, extortion, intentionally harming others, human trafficking and violating the Employment Service Act.