Singapore train vandal arrested on return to Switzerland

17th November 2010, Comments 9 comments

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

9 Comments To This Article

  • daProf posted:

    on 25th February 2017, 14:02:49 - Reply

    This discussion is one of those trollbridges that can be guaranteed to draw out the punitive-orthodox lurking underneath, together with their shabby logic. By this reasoning, we would all be safer and happier if we lived in Iran or what remains of the so-called Islamic State. Of course, using the bodies of malefactors as a theatrical stage for the enactment of exemplary physical punishment is nothing new (the success of which strategy may be shown by the fact that the best crowd for a pickpocket in 18th-c. London to work was notoriously the public hanging of other pickpockets at Tyburn). Of course, anyone who engages in a free-speech statement in a police state should be aware of the risks he is running. But sometimes "if these were silent, the very stones in the pavement would cry out." Unlike Fay, who seems just to have been screwing around, this fellow was making a statement. You may not agree with it, but that doesn't dismiss the fact that judicial corporal punishment of any sort, capital punishment included (and Singapore loves its hangings almost as much as Iran does), is incompatible with any claim to be a civilized polity (even one whose electoral college just overrode the popular will by naming as its president a mercurial sociopath).
  • dean posted:

    on 14th May 2012, 23:28:36 - Reply

    Hey Michael:

    How do you know that is Singapore's actual crime rate? That's a little Fascist country w/o a free press.

    Why don't you go to Mike Fay's hometown of Kettering, Ohio. I bet their crime rate is a lot lower.

    For a country that has no crime, they sure do have a lot of prisioners.
  • MICHAEL posted:

    on 26th April 2012, 12:09:18 - Reply

    Sorry for bringing up an old topic but i was researching vandalism crimes over the past decade and this and Michael Fay's case were the most common.
    Singapore's Crime Rate Per 100,000 Population 606
    New York's Crime Rate Per 100,000 Population not including arson(not reported) 4512
    maybe the U.S. should institute caning i mean really that's just over 3900 crimes per 100,000 people more!!!
  • jason posted:

    on 25th March 2011, 01:02:44 - Reply

    It wasn't just a tag, it was a full piece, not major tho, but they broke into the train depot. And yeah it is pretty weird to have an international manhunt for something like that. There are probably paedophiles and rapists and murderers out there that deserve to be searched for alot more so than Banos.

    Looks like they lost him so far. But he has been staying low, no new pieces or trains from him as far as i know.

    Bet Mckoy is spewing tho, he took the full brunt of it all, and also when he got home for past crimes, so i doubt he will doit again.
  • Homer posted:

    on 3rd March 2011, 04:15:43 - Reply

    How weird is that to have an international warrant for someone allegedly having sprayed a tag in a train. I'd like to see the authorities spending the tax money on people who are wanted for blowing shit up and /or killing people. This particular warrant is ridiculous.
  • jason posted:

    on 12th January 2011, 03:23:35 - Reply

    Yeah he got jailed on his return home, so i doubt he is in any way, shape or form feeling like doing interviews.

    It's also weird how they havent caught banos even though interpol were or are apparently after him.
  • john sanders posted:

    on 11th January 2011, 06:34:12 - Reply

    Very strange case. When was he caned? His lawyer never said when, nor has he. When other westerners were involved it was always reported when or after it happened. He surely should speak out against the barbaric practice on behalf of those that have been beaten in Singapore, and those to come.
  • Jason posted:

    on 22nd December 2010, 00:06:03 - Reply

    Glad your such a homo Jake and like to see his ass. Weirdo.
  • jake craig posted:

    on 18th November 2010, 00:29:58 - Reply

    Glad he got 3 strokes of the rotan, let him show his ass to the world for his crime! Switzerland should give him more jail time!