10 illegal foreign migrant workers to be repatriated from SW China's Yunnan in campaign to enforce cross-border administration
Published: Nov 15, 2020 10:15 PM


Police in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province recently found 10 illegal foreign migrant workers at a food factory during a campaign to crackdown on illegal immigration and strengthen virus prevention work in the region.

The food factory is facing a 100,000 yuan (15,140) fine as an administrative punishment. After two-week quarantine and testing negative for COVID-19, the workers were detained before awaiting repatriation to their home country, news website reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the 10 men were recruited by an overseas agency and sent to Kunming this year. They had been working in the factory since then without leaving.

The Kunming police will deepen the campaign and call on the public to join the battle against illegally housing or hiring foreigners, read the report.

The police also told companies that had hired illegal foreign workers to voluntarily surrender themselves to local police. 

People who provide clues of crimes will be rewarded with 200 to 300,000 yuan.

An anonymous official from a border administration department in Yunnan told the Global Times on Sunday that the illegal immigrant workers might have entered China before the outbreak of COVID-19 in Yunnan in early September.

In early September, illegal border crossings by two people infected with COVID-19, triggered a week-long lockdown of another Yunnan border city, Ruili, and prompted at least eight prefectures and 25 counties to enter "wartime status." Following the incident, Yunnan vowed to strengthen border patrols.

"It is very difficult to investigate and trace every illegal immigrant in Yunnan," said the official. "It is estimated that there are 100,000 immigrant workers, illegal and legal, in the province."

However, after the Ruili outbreak, the province has put tremendous manpower and set many facilities to stop illegal border crossing. "It is impossible to trespass in since then," he said.

Lincang city in Yunnan, which borders Myanmar's Shan state, has closed its border since November 9, a local source said, after imported asymptomatic infections were found in Mengding town of Lincang's Gengma Dai and Wa autonomous county.

As of Friday, three asymptomatic infections have been detected in 78,000 nucleic acid tests in Gengma, the Xinhua News Agency reported. All three are from Myanmar.

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