Five Vietnamese are facing charges in Taiwan after they were caught transporting illegal timber from a mountainous area.
Taiwan’s Central News Agency cited police as saying that they detected two suspicious vehicles on Tuesday night but could only stop one of them, with five Vietnamese and two Taiwanese men on board.
The vehicle was carrying more than 100 kilograms of Formosan cypress, an aromatic and insect-resistant wood with high economic value, and a chainsaw.
Two Taiwanese told the police they did not know the wood was illegal and they were just delivering it to someone.
Initial report found the Vietnamese nationals ran away from their legal employers in Taiwan earlier.
They can be prosecuted for theft and violations under Taiwan’s Forestry Act, according to the report.
There are around 164,000 Vietnamese working in Taiwan, nearly 30 percent of the country’s overseas workforce.
But there has been a high rate of them running away from their employers to find jobs that pay better to help them pay off the expensive fee charged by Vietnamese labor export companies – around US$7,000 a person.
Some 1,100 Vietnamese workers in Taiwan broke their contracts every month in 2015, almost twice the monthly average in 2014, according to official data.