Ghanaian woman, 63, who’s lived in Taiwan illegally, worked as cleaner since 1989 arrested

Authorities in Taiwan have arrested a 63-year-old Ghanaian woman, who has been living illegally in the Asian country since 1989.

A woman in handcuffs

Reports say the elderly woman has lived in Taiwan for the past 34 years but has neither a resident permit nor even a Ghanaian passport.

She managed to evade the attention of the Taiwanese authorities until her arrest recently after she started fleeing upon sighting police officers, an action that piqued their curiosity.

The police reportedly found her waiting under a covered walkway in the Luzhou district and tried to question her, seeing that she was a foreign national. When they asked her to present an Alien Resident Certificate (ARC) or passport, she could not understand Mandarin and only gesticulated. The police found a Ghanaian national who spoke Twi with her and she confirmed being a Ghanaian.

The police discovered after her arrest that she entered Taiwan for the first time in June 1989 after a transit from Hong Kong, reports say, adding that she however left in March 1990. However, they couldn’t figure out any immigration records to show when the woman re-entered Taiwan.

The woman whose identity has not been disclosed, said through an interpreter, that she lived alone in a rented residence and worked as a cleaner for a living for the past three decades.

She is reportedly being held in a shelter provided by the New Taipei City service centre of the National Immigration Agency and being investigated for suspicion that she might have breached Taiwan’s immigration law.

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