Seven people with alleged links to the 152 Vietnamese “tourists” who went missing after landing in Taiwan were arrested on Tuesday.
The suspects, including three Vietnamese based in Taiwan, are suspected of being the masterminds of a human trafficking ring. They are being investigated for violating immigration, trafficking and other laws, AFP reported.
According to a statement from the National Immigration Agency, the ring worked with other human trafficking groups and brought Vietnamese to Taiwan to work under the pretense of sightseeing.
The ring allegedly used messaging apps to hire women from Vietnam to work as prostitutes. The ring allegedly charged people from US$1,000 to US$300 to arrange a Taiwan visa, which led to some falling into debt and being exploited sexually as a way of payment.
On December 28, 152 Vietnamese were reported missing after landing in Taiwan. Authorities have since located at least 88 of them. Some have reportedly fled the country.