22 charged with forging birth certificates for Vietnamese children
Jun 21, 2017LegalComments Off on 22 charged with forging birth certificates for Vietnamese children
Taipei--Twenty-two Taiwanese nationals, 14 of whom are former citizens of Vietnam, were charged Monday with forging birth certificates to bring Vietnamese children and youths to Taiwan, the Yunlin District Prosecutors' Office announced Wednesday.
Prosecutors began investigating the case last year after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported a suspicious case in which a child who was supposed to have been born to a Taiwanese father and a Vietnamese Taiwanese mother was actually born in Vietnam, while the mother was in Taiwan.
After months of investigation, prosecutors found that 14 Vietnamese Taiwanese nationals each paid between US$3,000 and US$7,000 to brokers in Vietnam between 2013 and 2016 for fake birth certificates for 17 children of their Vietnamese families and relatives, so that the children could be disguised as their own and obtain Taiwanese passports, the prosecutors said.
Officials did not approve passport applications for three of the children and youths because they found something suspicious during the process, but 14 were allowed to enter Taiwan and 11 eventually obtained Taiwanese citizenship, the prosecutors said.
Although immigration officials believe that the suspects have allegedly violated human trafficking laws, the Yunlin District Prosecutors' Office said it believes that the suspects' actions do not violate such laws.
All of the children and youths are relatives of the suspects, and the money paid to the brokers was for obtaining fake birth certificates and Taiwanese citizenship, rather than the cost of human trafficking, or the cost of exploiting their labor, according to the office.
Twelve other defendants in the case were not charged due to insufficient evidence, death, or lack of jurisdiction, the prosecutors said.