A British national has been flogged by a wooden cane 24 times in Singapore's Changi Prison on Tuesday for drug-related offences. The 31-year-old former Westminster School co-ed, Ye Ming Yuen, is also currently serving 20 years in prison on top of his corporal punishment for his crimes.
Yuen was strapped naked to a large wooden bench in the "caning room" and received 24 lashes on his bare buttocks with a 4-foot rattan cane. This came after the Singaporean courts rejected his second appeal and got meted out with judicial corporal punishment deemed fit for his repeated crimes.
The London-born lad was first arrested in 2016 for possession and selling of drugs while working as a DJ in Singapore. He pleaded guilty to selling 15 grams of methamphetamine as well as possession and consumption. Yuen was granted bail but was arrested once again for possession and trafficking of cannabis.
On July 18, 2018 Yuen was charged with repeated drug trafficking of cannabis and crystal meth. He was originally sentenced to death but the charge was dropped due to the total amount in weight of the drugs was below 500g.
Reports from the Daily Mail say that earlier investigations revealed Yuen began selling drugs to enable him to pay off gambling debts and fund his lavish social life.
Despite talks initiated by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt with the Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister during an official visit in January 2019, Yuen's case proceeded. Calls for leniency from Home Secretary Priti Patel also fell on deaf ears causing a diplomatic row between the two nations.
Yuen's sister Elysia, 32, said : "Ming knows what he did was wrong and deserved to be punished. We know it's a different country with different laws and you should respect those laws, but isn't a 20-year prison sentence punishment enough?"
Caning is an accepted form of corporal punishment in Singapore for drug use and drug trafficking. The implementation of laws on these crimes are so strict that they sometimes even lead to the penalty of death. An individual caught with more than 30g of cocaine, 500g of cannabis or 200g of hashish face the mandatory death penalty.
Before Yuen moved to Singapore in 2007, he attended Dulwich Prep School and Westminster School where he had 11 GCSE's, four A*s, six A's and one B. However, he managed to fall into the cracks and got in with the wrong crowd. He often ended up fishing himself out of trouble with the police.
Yuen was also under the watch of Scotland Yard for an alleged fake driving licence scam which he later admitted selling to students.