Swiss graffiti vandal detained in Zurich

A Swiss citizen who returned to Switzerland on Tuesday after serving a jail sentence in Singapore for vandalism, was arrested when he arrived at Zurich airport.

This content was published on November 16, 2010 - 21:02 and agencies

A spokesman for the Zug cantonal police said he was suspected of having sprayed trains in a number of cantons since 2002, causing a total of about SFr200,000 ($200,680) worth of damage.

The Zug public prosecutor had requested his provisional detention while enquiries were made.

He is thought to have been active mainly in canton Zug, but also in Zurich, Aargau, St Gallen and Schwyz.

The 32-year-old computer consultant had served five months of a seven month sentence in Singagpore for breaking into a train depot with an accomplice and drawing graffiti on two subway carriages on May 16. Authorities said the man was released early for good behaviour.

He also faced three strokes of the cane, but it is unclear whether this was carried out.

The man committed the offence alongside a Briton who fled the country and was not put on trial. Workers did not report the crime for two days.

Singapore punishes vandals severely with up to eight lashes of the cane, three years in prison and a fine of up to 2,000 Singapore dollars (SFr1,515).

"Their conduct was nothing short of audacious and intemperate. This was a stunt that was plainly designed to attract international notoriety to a pair of irresponsible, attention-seeking individuals," the judge said when sentencing the man.

"The laws of Singapore proscribing vandalism are indeed severe. However, needless to say, these are the very laws that are largely responsible for a clean and graffiti-free environment."

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