Swiss man faces caning over Singapore graffiti

4th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Swiss man has been arrested in Singapore on suspicion of breaking into a high-security subway depot and spray-painting graffiti on a train, an offence punishable by caning, police said Friday.

"We confirm that a 33-year-old Swiss male national has been arrested in relation to the case," a spokesman for the Singapore Police Force told AFP.

No further details were available pending the investigation into the incident, which took place in May.

The Swiss embassy in Singapore had no immediate comment.

Subway operator SMRT said it was helping police with the investigation, but gave no further information.

The train has been scrubbed clean but a clip on video-sharing site Youtube -- still visible at -- shows the vandalised train as it left a suburban station.

The Straits Times newspaper reported Friday that the suspect was believed to have cut his way into the depot, a restricted zone surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire.

Singapore, a close US ally, considers itself a prime target of Southeast Asian extremists and lists the train system among possible points of attack, along with the airport and US-linked establishments.

Vandalism is punishable in Singapore by three to eight strokes of the cane as well as jail terms of up to three years and a maximum fine of 2,000 Singapore dollars (1,424 US).

An American teenager, Michael Fay, garnered global headlines in 1994 when he was jailed and caned in Singapore after he was found guilty of vandalising several cars. Fay was caned despite a US appeal for clemency.

© 2010 AFP

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