A 60-year-old man in Singapore has landed himself in hot water with authorities after allegedly inserting toothpicks into a seat on a public bus – an act that could land him in jail for up to two years in the famously strict city-state.
Pictures of the three toothpicks in question posted on social media on July 22 quickly went viral with over 2,500 shares by concerned netizens who called the act “sickening” and suggested the perpetrator “have fun in jail.”
In a statement, released Tuesday, Singapore police said, “Through extensive inquiries and with the assistance of CCTV footage, officers … established the identity of the suspect.”
The Singaporean authorities are known to come down hard on minor crimes such as vandalism – which is punishable by caning – and this is, in part, credited for the country’s incredibly low crime rate.
Two years ago, a smoker was fined SGD19,800 (US$14,525) for throwing cigarette ends out of a window of his flat for days.
Considered one of the safest countries in the world, police and everyday Singaporeans are quick to remind visitors “low crime doesn’t mean no crime,” and this latest case of toothpick “mischief” is a prime example.
Police said investigations into the case were continuing. The offence of mischief carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to two years or a fine, or both.
Additional reporting by Reuters