Taiwan authorities waive S$4,770 fine for man who broke quarantine because he was abducted

What are the chances of being kidnapped during quarantine?

Karen Lui | February 04, 2021, 06:42 PM

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In Singapore, many people were caught breaching their Stay-Home Notice (SHN) or Quarantine Orders (QO) for various reasons, including cravings for bak kut teh and bubble tea, and missing their loved ones

People in other parts of the world like Taiwan and Switzerland are also struggling to stay in isolation.

Taiwanese authorities discovered that a man who was fined for violating his quarantine order had actually been kidnapped.

Kidnapped due to mistaken identity

The man, identified as Chen, travelled from Hong Kong to Taiwan in late October.

According to the Changhua Branch of the Ministry of Justice's Administrative Enforcement Agency, Chen was serving his mandatory 14-day home quarantine at a friend's residence in Nantou.

CNN reported that debt collectors had broken into his friend's place at 11pm on Nov. 1, 2020 while Chen was serving his quarantine order.

Mistaking him for his friend who was the debtor, they forcefully brought Chen out of the house against his will.

After being assaulted and forced to pay the debts, Chen returned to the house.

Verified claim that he was removed from house against his will

Taiwanese public health authorities had initially slapped Chen with a NT100,000 (S$4,772.75) for breaching the quarantine order.

However, the Ministry of Justice has investigated and verified Chen's claims that he was forcefully removed from the quarantine residence against his will.

They have subsequently revoked the fine.

Spokesman for the Changhua branch of the administrative enforcement agency Hu Tianci said, "The violation of the quarantine regulations was not caused by his own intentional or negligent behaviour."

He added, “According to the law such behaviour should not be punished and should be referred to the health unit for withdrawal.”

According to the Guardian, this is the first time Taiwanese authorities have revoked a fine for breaching a quarantine order.

Taiwan's ninth covid-19 death

At the time of writing, Taiwan's total number of coronavirus cases stands at 919, according to Focus Taiwan.

On Feb. 3, Taiwan confirmed the death of an elderly British man, marking its ninth covid-19 death.

Besides being the first foreigner to die of Covid-19 in Taiwan, he is the first person in Taiwan who succumbed to B117, the variant of the coronavirus that was first detected in the UK.

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Top image by Egg0522 via Wikimedia Commons