A migrant workers’ shelter in Miaoli County in western Taiwan caught police attention and caused a raid after stacks of traffic cones labelled as belonging to police in a neighbouring county were spotted during an operation.

At 5am on Wednesday a team of officers from different divisions in Miaoli County’s Toufen Precinct police conducted an anti-crime operation in Luhu area in Nanzhuang, The Real Daily reported.

Officers suspected they had found a case of theft when they saw stacks of traffic cones marked ‘Hsinchu County Police Bureau’ in front of a migrant workers’ shelter.

Police immediately intercepted a 39-year-old Vietnamese national who came out of the shelter. He was later found to be a runaway migrant worker.

The man, who initially entering Taiwan on August 31, 2016 as a migrant fisherman in Keelung City, fled from his employer on November 29 last year and had done part-time work since then.

The Vietnamese man told police his current employer believed that using traffic cones with a police insignia could help stop people from sabotaging his private water pipes up a hill.

The worker claimed to have no idea where or how his employer obtained the stolen traffic cones.

The runaway worker’s case was referred to the National Immigration Agency’s Miaoli office, while police located the employer, surnamed Chien, to help their investigation into the origin of the traffic cones.