Singaporeans behind bars around the globe

Singaporeans behind bars around the globe

SINGAPORE - The number of Singaporeans jailed in Thailand and Malaysia has come down. The highest number of Singaporean prisoners overseas are usually in these two countries.

There are about 75 in Thai prisons today, down from 114 five years ago. The number jailed in Malaysia has also halved from 60 in 2008.

Most are drug offenders, and a few were convicted of fraud and other crimes such as theft and robbery.

Outside of Asean, prisons in Taiwan hold the largest number of Singaporean offenders, with 24 serving time there now, up from 19 in 2008. Most are aged between 40 and 60, according to figures from Taiwan's Justice Ministry.

All but two were nabbed for drug-related offences. Nine are serving life sentences, and 10 are serving terms of more than 15 years.

One of the other two Singaporean inmates in Taiwan, a man in his 50s, is serving a sentence of less than a year for being involved in the illegal wildlife trade.

Elsewhere, Singaporean law-breakers have landed in jail in countries as diverse as Namibia and New Zealand, according to media and law reports.

Singaporean Abdul Kader Jamal, 48, has been in jail in Namibia since 2007, awaiting trial for credit card fraud.

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