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More runaway Vietnamese laborers surrender to NIA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government of Vietnam recently increased fines for laborers who are deported back to Vietnam, but a three-month grace period until the new fines are implemented has resulted in more runaway Vietnamese labors turning themselves in, according to the National Immigration Agency's (NIA) Specialized Operation Brigade in Miaoli County.

According to the Specialized Operation Brigade, the number of runaway foreign laborers turning themselves in usually increases toward the end of each year. This year, however, the number has seen a dramatic rise.

The Specialized Operation Brigade said that over the past three days, there have been over 20 people turning themselves in.

The brigade said that these runaway Vietnamese laborers are usually young, and the reason why there have been more runaway Vietnam laborers turning themselves in is because they do not want to receive large fines.

According to the Labor Division of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, the government of Vietnam recently increased the fine for runaway laborers who are deported back to Vietnam to over NT$100,000. The new regulation was implemented on Oct. 10.

However, the office said, there is a three-month grace period for the launch of the newly revised regulation, which suggested that the new regulation will not apply to those who turn themselves in before Jan. 10.

According to the NIA, the number of runaway foreign laborers who turn themselves in this month so far has reached over 400, a 40-percent increase compared to the same period last year.

The Specialized Operation Brigade said that if runaway foreign laborers are captured by the police, they will be held by the NIA. However, if they turn themselves in, they can just leave their addresses with authorities and will still be allowed to move about the country freely.

According to the brigade, as long as the runaway foreign labors who turn themselves in have all the mandatory documents and the ability to pay the fines as well as purchase flight tickets, they can return home immediately.

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