Xingnan Road, Madou District, Tainan City, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A total of 15 Vietnamese women, including a transgender person, in Tainan, Taiwan, who had been arrested for allegedly violating their condition of stay by working illegally last month, were repatriated back to Vietnam, the National Immigration Agency announced.

Officers from the Tainan squad of the National Immigration Agency had organized a crackdown on lawbreaking by foreign nationals in the county, the Central News Agency reported.

The biggest haul was made in April by officers jointly from the police, immigration and labor departments, involving 15 Vietnamese tourists who entered the island country with visa-free entry but were working in a karaoke center on Xingnan Road in Madou District, accompanying male customers for drinking and entertainment.

Among the 15 arrestees, one was allegedly using a suspicious passport, as it identified the holder as male while she appeared to be a woman.

The suspect then admitted that she was a man by birth and only became a transgender woman after receiving the surgery in Thailand. Since it was difficult to alter personal details on passport, she kept presenting herself as a male.

It was learned that the agency was hesitant about whether she should be put into the male or female detention center. She ended up along with all the other women.

After investigation, it was determined that the 15 women had committed no offenses other than violating their traveling terms by illegal working, and thus they were fined NT$30,000 (US$949) and referred to repatriation back to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the owners of the alleged karaoke center were fined a total of NT$870,000 (US$27,520) – broken down into NT$750,000 (US$23,720) for hiring illegal persons and another NT$120,000 (US$3,795) because two of the 15 women were underage.

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