I just had a visit from the F.A.P. this morning. Video cameras and cameras and I found out from them that my nanny who I hired from an agent in Hualien is illegal, well, so they say. She did disappear very quickly when they came to my house which leads me to believe this is true.

My situation is this: they say I have to pay a ludicrous fine…750 000nt or turn her in. Great, I say. I do not have this kind of money and obviously this lady has disappeared. I would turn her in if I could but I don’t know where she is. I am not the kind of person who wittingly breaks the law.

Does anyone know of a good lawyer? We did employ the woman for 5 months in the honest belief that we were legitimate employers. We paid the agent 10 000nt for the lady. We asked for the passport and arc but were told she is holding them until her contract expires. The agent says she owes her money. It is all a mess right now obviously. Anyone who is a parent will understand. The crazy thing is, tomorrow was her last day, my kid goes to school tomorrow.

HELP please with advice on this matter.

I am desperate about this, I’ve been here for years and never done anything wrong apart from swear at blue truck drivers. Now I am facing criminal charges for which the fine is bigger than people back home who steal from their employers.
It doesn’t make sense. i know lots of things here don’t but this is truly worrying for me so any advice is appreciated. Preferably sensible and legal.

First of all, do not sign any kind of statement in Chinese or English. The police may tell you that they are just ‘finishing some paperwork’ but don’t sign. They will use any statement you sign to refer the case to the prosecutor’s office.

A lawyer is probably just going to add to your expenses since it sounds like you are in fact guilty. The maximum fine is indeed NT$750K but it may be reduced since you hired her unknowingly.

The minimum fine is 150K. It sounds very suspicious that you were busted just one day before her employment was to end. There is a reward for reporting illegal employment of foreigners–I wouldn’t be shocked if the agency turned you in.

The penalties for getting caught doing this are very stiff indeed. And the authorities are getting more serious.

Here is a good local family lawyer who may be cheaper than some of the fancy firms with foreign lawyers. She speaks fair English since she lived in Canada for a number of years.

Carol Chang
Tel: 2397 1307
Fax: 2391 7592

#10-1, No. 76, Sec 1,
Chung Hsiao E. Road

There are also [url= bono legal services[/url] being offered by the city.

Damn, that’s a bit of a shafting. As Feiren says, sign nothing the police give you. This can’t be stressed enough. You are under NO OBLIGATION to do so, although they’ll to make out as if you have to. Stick to your guns. They want you to turn her in but she’s absconded? If it was me, I’d be looking to turn in the agent who took your money. Maybe that’ll take a bit of the pressure off you, and it sounds as if its the agent who’s to blame.

I have been pursuing other avenues here too, the thing is, it was almost certainly the agent who dobbed her in. This doesn’t make sense to me. Hire out an illegal worker and then call the coppers. Surely the agent should be hauled up?

It makes no sense to me that I am the shit sticking to the blanket.

Any advice on what I should say to the nod when they want a statement?

We have already told them (nothing in writing) that she worked for us. Only one nod spoke English.What is to prevent my changing the initial furphies to she was just an acquaintance who came by and they were misled?

I don’t really want to go down that path but I don’t want to get hammered for something that wasn’t my fault either.
Advice please. I may say I posted the original query on and it was deleted.
Thanks for your advice.

I really don’t know what to say, other than good luck, mate. Have you taken a look at the pro bono link Feiren gave you? That seems to be your best bet right now. From what you’ve told us, it sounds like you’ve been caught red-handed, although unwittingly. And you know what they say about ignorance of the law being no excuse, I’m sure.

I met with the head of the F.A.P. today. Apparently, I am not alone in falling victim to this scam. Caveat Emptor and all.

The agent charged us a commission and then nailed the poor woman with more on top without telling us. It is a nice little earner for these snakeheads. Which is what they are. The nanny, quite rightly, didn’t want to pay the extra money= blackmail. Our nanny was a decent person, she could have told us! . We came clean and were told to dob her in if we meet her again.

At the end of the day, be aware of the legalities and do not believe what you are told by ‘reputable’ Chinese people. Check with the F.A.P. first. If we had done a little homework we would have found out it is illegal for any foreigner to hire a nanny. Period. It is very hard for Taiwanese to do it too.

So, a happy’ish ending. however, to any foreigner with a kid who needs extra hands on deck…get a Taiwanese to help out. This is what we have now. If we could have gotten one earlier this would never have happened.

Skin of yer teeth there, sounds like. Great news that the FAP seem to have been OK about it though. Glad things worked out for you.