Singapore train vandal arrested on return to Switzerland
A Swiss man who was jailed and caned for spray-painting a Singapore metro train has been arrested on his return to Switzerland for suspected graffiti offences, authorities said Wednesday.
Oliver Fricker, a 32-year-old software consultant, is suspected of having spray-painted trains across five Swiss cantons, causing damage totalling some 200,000 francs (around 200,000 dollars/150,000 euros), prosecutors office in canton Zug said.
"He has been arrested yesterday morning at Zurich airport," Marcel Schlatter, spokesman for Zug's prosecution service, told AFP.
"He will be held until Thursday or Friday when a judge will decide whether he will be released or held in custody until the end of the investigations," added the spokesman.
The spokesman said graffiti bearing the same signature as in Singapore had been found in the five cantons, but police did not know who had committed the offences until Fricker's arrest in the Asian island state.
"We have registered McKoy tags around trains, but we did not know who did them. After he was arrested in Singapore, we knew he was our suspect in these cases," said Schlatter.
Fricker was released from Singapore's Changi Prison on Monday after five months in prison and quickly took a flight back to Switzerland.
He was jailed in June for vandalism and trespass.
He was also ordered to be whipped three times with a wooden cane, a form of punishment applicable to vandalism and other offences including rape.
Prosecutors said Fricker broke into a train depot in May and spray-painted two carriages together with a 29-year-old Briton, Lloyd Dane Alexander, who is still wanted in Singapore after fleeing the city-state.
The pair spray-painted the words "McKoy" and "Banos" -- the signatures of two train vandals whose elaborate works are celebrated in YouTube videos and websites that regard graffiti as an art form.
© 2010 AFP