TAIPEI, Taiwan — When the authorities in Taiwan believed a person had breached obligatory quarantine guidelines, they acted swiftly to problem a positive of $three,500.
However in a pandemic-era twist on a traditional case of mistaken id, it turned out that the person, surnamed Chen, didn’t violate the foundations in any respect.
He had in actual fact been kidnapped by debt collectors.
Mr. Chen had returned from Hong Kong in late October and was present process the required two-week quarantine at a good friend’s residence within the central metropolis of Nantou when a bunch of debt collectors confirmed up one night time, the Justice Ministry in Taiwan mentioned final week. The boys mistook Mr. Chen for his good friend, who owed them cash, then assaulted and kidnapped him.
Reached by phone on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Justice Ministry mentioned that the abductors introduced Mr. Chen again to his good friend’s residence after holding him for a number of hours. His father reported the kidnapping to the police, and Mr. Chen was arrested and fined about $three,500 for violating the quarantine laws.
Later, native officers investigating the state of affairs discovered that Mr. Chen had been compelled to go away his quarantine premises towards his will and agreed to rescind the positive.
They mentioned it was the primary time virus-related penalty had been revoked.
Taiwan has imposed fines of as much as tens of hundreds of dollars on individuals who had been discovered to have breached their obligatory quarantines, together with round $33,000 for one man who went out one night time final yr to go clubbing.
The debt collectors haven’t but been caught, in accordance with the Justice Ministry spokesperson.
In different world developments:
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan mentioned on Tuesday that the state of emergency in Tokyo and 9 different prefectures can be prolonged by one month, to March 7. Mr. Suga mentioned that whereas new infections had declined from their peak final month, the well being care system was nonetheless strained.