Taipei, Another five of the 148 Vietnamese tourists who left their tour groups and disappeared shortly after entering Taiwan in December were found Monday, according to the National Immigration Agency (NIA).
As of 3:40 p.m. Monday, a total of 52 of the 148 Vietnamese nationals had been located, and the search continues for the 96 people who remain unaccounted for, the NIA said.
Of those found so far, 24 have been arrested and 28 surrendered to police.
The agency said 152 of the 153 Vietnamese nationals who entered Taiwan as part of four tour groups that arrived on Dec. 21 and Dec. 23 were reported "missing" after entering Taiwan.
It was later determined that one of the tourist's whereabouts was known, and three other Vietnamese had left Taiwan, bringing the total to 148.
According to Vietnamese media VnExpress on Dec. 29, some of the Vietnamese said they spent between NT$20,000 (US$650) and NT$70,000 to be part of the tour groups to Taiwan, before "disappearing" with the help of friends.
Other said they fled the tour groups hoping to stay in Taiwan to work illegally, VnExpress said.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan government is offering a reward of up to NT$4,000 (US$129.74) for information leading to the arrest of the Vietnamese who have yet to be located.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel