Thursday, December 4, 2014

German Duo Charged With Vandalism In Singapore Face Caning

Two German men were charged with breaking into a Singapore metro depot and spray-painting graffiti on a train, offences punishable by jail time and flogging with a cane. 

Andreas Von Knorre and Elton Hinz, both 21, were charged at a district court with trespassing and vandalism in the early hours of November 8. Both men appeared relaxed as the charges were read to them in German by an interpreter.

Prosecutors told the judge the two men would be remanded in police custody until November 28 "to assist investigations and re-enact the crime scene".

The charge sheets said Knorre and Hinz broke into the suburban depot and spray-painted graffiti on the exterior of a metro train cabin.

The depot is a restricted zone surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire.

Bail was set at S$100,000 ($76,805) and they were told to appear in court on Dec. 17th. 
The two men were extradited by neighbouring Malaysia on Friday after being stopped at Kuala Lumpur International Airport as they were leaving for Australia.

The Straits Times newspaper said that the two men had visas to work in Australia. For trespassing they face up to two years in jail, a fine of up to S$1,000 (HK$6,000), or both. 

A policewoman sits next to Elton Hinz, one of the two German nationals arrested in Singapore for vandalism, as they arrive in a police car to the state court on November 22, 2014. Photo: AFP
For vandalism, they face up to three years in jail or a fine of up to S$2,000, and between three and eight strokes of a rattan cane. 

Singapore, a leading Asian financial hub, is well-known for its tough stance on crime. 

The city-state's vandalism laws became global news in 1994 when an American teenager, Michael Fay, was caned for damaging cars despite appeals for clemency from the US government. 

In 2010, Swiss expatriate Oliver Fricker was sentenced to seven months in jail and three strokes of the cane for vandalising a train. 

Caning entails being whipped with a rattan stick on the back of the thigh below the buttocks, which can split the skin and leave lasting scars. 

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as German pair accused of train graffiti face caning


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