The Korea Coast Guard’s station in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province said Tuesday that it is investigating 22 people for attempting to smuggle themselves into the country from China.
The station said it booked the 22 people on charges of violating the Immigration Act.
The group is accused of trying to illegally enter the nation after getting off a boat, swim their way to shore and flee on land from a spot some three-point-seven kilometers from Daecheon Port in Boryeong at around 1:53 a.m. Tuesday.
Twenty-one of the individuals were apprehended near Daecheon Port but one person managed to flee to Ansan, Gyeonggi Province via a taxi. The police caught this individual at around 8:47 a.m. Tuesday at a house in Ansan’s Danwon District after the taxi driver alerted authorities as he found the individual to be suspicious.
According to the Korea Coast Guard, all 22 people are said to be Chinese nationals in their 40s.
The coast guard and the military sought to track down the boat that had dropped off the group but the vessel was found to have gotten out of South Korean waters at around 7:40 a.m.
The coast guard has asked Chinese authorities for assistance as it believes the boat had come from the city of Weihai in easternmost Shandong Province.
The coast guard plans to determine how and why the group sought to smuggle themselves into South Korea.