Not sure if it is possible to have a worse week than the Taiwanese man who was mistakingly kidnapped and then fined 300,000 Taiwan dollars (about $10,800 USD) for breaking quarantine via the kidnapping.
The man, whose surname is Chen, returned from a trip to Hong Kong and started his 14 day mandatory quarantine at his friend's home. Unfortunately for Chen, his friend owed money to debt collectors. The debt collectors arrived at the house and mistook Chen for his friend and proceeded to abduct him in order to collect the money they were owed.
It gets worse…
After the men assaulted Chen, he was returned to the quarantine residence. Taiwan's quarantine system alerted police that he had left the quarantine facility, and he was promptly arrested and fined 300,000 Taiwan dollars for breaching the regulations. (Taiwan's quarantine system has electronic monitoring through phone signals)
Listen, I am not superstitious, but I'm a little ‘stitious ... and this guy has some bad luck. Not sure if he broke a mirror, walked under a ladder, or was just flat out cursed but that is what you call a series of unfortunate events.
The justice ministry did look into Chen's explanation for breaking quarantine and confirmed that they will revoke his fine because they were able to verify that he was forced to leave against his will.
Hu Tianci, a spokesman for the Changhua branch of the administrative enforcement agency spoke on the incident, saying:
"The violation of the quarantine regulations was not caused by his own intentional or negligent behavior, according to the law such behavior should not be punished and should be referred to the health unit for withdrawal."
This is the first time the Taiwanese government's fine for a quarantine breach has been reversed.
Hurray! His curse has been lifted! I do hope Chen was able to find a new place to finish out his quarantine, sans kidnappers.