SMRT graffiti vandal -- lighten up, Singapore! Or not...


The problem definitely is not that the graffiti was badly created. It's nice. In fact, the Swiss man should have charged SMRT for a fee because of the artwork did brighten up the train. Heh.

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CV4JYKBEQo -- 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.

From My Sinchew, "Swiss man faces caning over Singapore graffiti".

AN MRT train parked in a depot was hit with garish graffiti in what amounted to a serious security breach in a restricted area here.

The vandal apparently sneaked into the sprawling depot at Changi, despite an array of barriers, including fences topped with barbed wire.

Once inside, he spray-painted elaborate graffiti on one side of a train, across one carriage.

From Asiaone, "Graffiti vandal breaches security at MRT depot".



Update on 05/06: So it's really not a publicity gimmick. The police is handling the case & they are annoyed that the report only came 2 days after the artistic crime happened.

THE tale of the security breach at an MRT depot here took several twists yesterday: Police were told of it only two days after it occurred, and the Swiss national who left his mark on a train might not have been working alone.

In a statement last night, police said the breach took place on the night of May 16 or early the next morning.

It added that police were informed only on May 19, at 7.15pm.

The Straits Times reported yesterday that a YouTube video of the incident was posted online on May 18.

That timeline of events meant the graffiti on the train, and the breach, went unnoticed for close to 48 hours.

In its statement yesterday, police said the 33-year-old Swiss national who was arrested on May 25 will be hauled to court today to face charges of vandalism and trespass.

It did not say why there was a time lapse between the breach and the police report.

From Straits Times, "More twists to the MRT tale".

And the suspect is also named!! Yes, finally!!

A Swiss business consultant was charged in court Saturday with breaking into a Singapore MRT depot and spray-painting graffiti on a train.

Oliver Fricker, 32, was accused of committing trespass and vandalism in mid-May, and a district judge who described him as a flight risk set bail at $100,000. His passport was also impounded.

A worried-looking Fricker told the judge he needed a lawyer and asked that bail be lowered to US$40,000.

But the judge cut him short and rejected the bail request, stressing the seriousness of the offence.

The official charge sheet said Fricker, who was arrested on May 25, was with a Briton identified as Lloyd Dane Alexander when he broke into the suburban depot, a restricted zone surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire.

Sources familiar with the case told AFP that Alexander was in Singapore on a tourist visa and left before a police report was filed.

The charge sheet said Fricker and Alexander vandalised public property when they cut through a fence and spray-painted two carriages.

A police spokesman described Fricker as a company consultant but further details on him were not available from Singapore officials or Swiss diplomats.

A man named Oliver Fricker is listed in the business networking website Xing as a senior consultant in Singapore working with a Zurich-based information technology firm specialising in the financial sector.

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.

Prosecutors in the train vandalism case, arguing for the high bail amount, said Fricker had been due to leave for Switzerland two days after his arrest.

The break-in, believed to have taken place before dawn on May 17, was not immediately detected and the train plied its route in full view of commuters, one of whom filmed it and posted a clip on video-sharing site Youtube.

From Asiaone, "Swiss consultant charged for vandalising train".



Update on 07/06: I can't believe what I read!! How can the suspect be released with merely a S$100,000 bail?! Yes, the amount may seem a lot. It's more than enough to repaint the vandalised SMRT train. But it's definitely insufficient to repair the image of the company. And with the looming thought that there would be canes introducing to the culprit's ass, I won't be surprised if he is to escape from Singapore even without his passport. Mas Selamat did it, so why can't Oliver Fricker?

The Swiss national arrested for allegedly vandalising a Singapore metro train with spray paint has been released on a S$100,000 bail.

It is believed that the passport of 33-year-old Oliver Fricker is still impounded to prevent him from leaving the country.

Fricker was charged in court on Saturday for vandalising an MRT train by spraying graffiti on it and damaging public property by cutting a wired fence.

The incident was said to have taken place between the late night of May 16 and the early hours of May 17 at the Changi Depot.

Fricker is said to have had an accomplice - British citizen Lloyd Dane Alexander. The Briton is believed to have left Singapore.

Vandalism is punishable by up to three years' jail or a maximum fine of S$2,000, plus three to eight strokes of the cane.

Fricker is scheduled to appear in court again on June 21.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Swiss man charged with vandalising train released on bail".

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