Taiwan concerned about S’pore’s caning sentences for 2 citizens

October 17, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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Tang Pei-chun & Sofia Wu
FocusTaiwan NewsChannel

Taiwan’s representative office in Singapore said Saturday it is concerned about two Taiwanese men who have been sentenced to canings and jail terms for loan shark harassment in the Southeast Asian city state.

According to a statement issued by Singaporean police authorities on Thursday, three Taiwanese citizens have recently been given seven- to 24-month prison sentences after being convicted of loan shark harassment.

Two of the defendants, identified as Su Wei Ying and Wu Wei Chun in the Singapore Police Force statement, were also to receive “15 strokes of the cane” for their offenses.

Su, 28, and Wu, 24, were both convicted of seven charges of loan shark harassment in violation of Singapore’s Moneylenders Act and sentenced to 24 months and 21 months in jail, respectively, in addition to the caning.

Su was sentenced on Sept. 14 while Wu was sentenced on Sept. 28.

An official at the Taipei Representative Office in Singapore said Saturday that the office sent people to visit the imprisoned Taiwanese citizens more than a few days ago.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would not disclose, however, whether the two Taiwanese men had already been caned.

Asked whether the families of the two men were aware of the caning sentences, the official also declined comment, citing the defendants’ right to privacy.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old Taiwanese man identified as Wu Ting-yi, was convicted Oct. 14 on a single charge of conspiring with the two other Taiwanese nationals to commit loan shark harassment and sentenced to seven months in prison.

Caning is a form of corporal punishment that has been adopted in Singapore for more than 40 years. At the end of the caning, those who receive more than three lashes are usually in a state of shock and their buttocks are covered in blood. Many collapse from the ordeal.

The Singapore Police Force statement said the cases served as a good warning to all foreigners or locals alike who were thinking of earning easy money by dallying in such criminal activities.

“Regardless of their role or involvement, police will take such criminal elements to task and ensure that they are dealt with appropriately in accordance with our laws,” the statement said.

http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?ID=201010160017&Type=aSOC