Police said they have been investigating the discovery of 20 bodies that were found floating along the central and southern coast since mid-February. Among them, 16 bodies have been identified.
Many floating corpses were recently discovered along the central and southern coast of Taiwan, shocking the country. Interior Minister Lin Yu-chang responded by saying 20 floating corpses have been found along the coast since Feb. 18. Among them, 16 bodies have been identified. Nine are Taiwanese and seven are Vietnamese. Identities of four others are yet to be confirmed.
Lin Yu-chang, Interior Minister: “Nine of them have been confirmed to be Taiwanese citizens. Death may have been suicide or due to falling into the sea. ”
Lin said that the nine Taiwanese citizens fell into the sea or committed suicide, and it has nothing to do with human trafficking. Legislators were concerned about the possibility of human trafficking. They asked if the deaths were the acts of human trafficking rings in Shanghai and could Taiwanese nationals be accomplices.
Lin Yu-chang, Interior Minister: “Nothing related to human trafficking has been found yet.”
Tsai Ming-yen, Director-General, NSB: “We will investigate whether this case involves human trafficking or the operation of smuggling groups. Can the Taiwanese nationals be ruled out as being trafficked or were they accomplices? I think it's currently being investigated. We will respect the investigative results. ”
Many floating corpses have been discovered recently, which coincides with President Tsai Ing-wen's overseas visit. The timing is sensitive. Lo Chih-chiang, a former KMT Taipei City Councilor, pointed out that Ma's administration was in power for 8 years and never saw so many cases of floating corpses. DPP legislator Lo Chih-cheng refuted the data and pointed out that the year with the most floating corpses was 2008, numbering a total of 152. He called on the Coast Guard to clarify the false information.
Lo Chih-cheng, Legislator (DPP): “You have to explain a lot of numbers to the outside world. You don't have to say that Ma Ying-jeou's administration had the highest number. But it's important that you respond to any misinformation immediately. And people may say "you see, so many dead while the president's traveling." But if you really look at the numbers, this isn't correct. Director, do you agree? ”
Chou Mei-wu, Director-General, Coast Guard Admin.: “Yes, I do. ”
Chou said according to statistics from the past 10 years, the lowest number of corpses found in a year was 87 and the highest number was 131. However, the number of floating corpses in March this year was indeed higher than March's historical average. The High Prosecutors Office has launched an investigation.