The disappearance of 152 Vietnamese nationals in Taiwan could seriously impact the visa application process for Vietnamese citizens in the future
The News Lens
On Dec. 25, Taiwanese media reported that several groups of Vietnamese tourists vanished from their hotels while on vacation on the island. A total of 152 individuals, 102 men and 50 women couldn’t be accounted for, prompting their Taiwan-based travel agency to alert the police.
According to Taiwan authorities, 23 of the Vietnamese tourists arrived in Kaohsiung on Dec. 21 and separated from their tour group at some point between Nantou County and New Taipei’s Sanchong District. The remaining tourists entered Taiwan from Kaohsiung, Taoyuan and Tainan on December 23 and strayed from their group on Dec. 23-24. At the time the police were alerted, only the group leader hadn’t gone missing.
Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency (NIA) has since formed a specialized operations brigade to cooperate with local police departments to track down the missing tourists. Authorities believe the vanishing could be a case of human trafficking.
The group’s trip in Taiwan was arranged by Vietnamese travel agency International Holidays Trading Travel, which has denied their involvement in the incident, saying that they only assisted with the visa application process and didn’t know about the tourists’ travel plans. In Taiwan, their tours were arranged by Taiwan-based ETHoliday (東森國際旅行社), which contacted local police upon the mass disappearance. [FULL STORY]