Daxi Precinct, Taoyuan Police Department, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A 27-year-old Vietnamese woman who rose to online fame as a social media influencer selling clothes and accessories was arrested in Taoyuan City by officers from the National Immigration Agency following reports from compatriots.

The woman surnamed Pham had previously been repatriated in January 2016 for working illegally after running away from her employer in February 2014. She reportedly paid human traffickers more than NT$200,000 (US$6,553) to help her re-enter Taiwan, The Liberty Times reported.

Following being smuggled in from Fujian, China in July of last year, she hid out in an apartment on the fourth floor of a residential unit in Daxi District of eastern Taoyuan City.

By using live a broadcasting app and without leaving the apartment, she was able to sell clothes and accessories and have them delivered to compatriots and new immigrants.

Pham allegedly became very popular among her online fans; however, this also attracted jealousy from many others.

Acting upon information received, on June 29 officers from the National Immigration Agency raided Pham’s flat and seized broadcasting equipment, over 100 items of clothes, 50 packages and a large number of delivery invoices.

Preliminary investigations indicate that Pham generated a lucrative trade. Her income was estimated at between NT$50,000 and NT$60,000 (US$1,638-US$1,966) per month, despite the fact that she claimed she earned only NT$10,000-NT$20,000 (US$328-US$655) a month.

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