British ex-public schoolboy at centre of major diplomatic row after being sentenced to naked caning for drug offences in Singapore

British ex-public schoolboy at centre of major diplomatic row after being sentenced to naked caning for drug offences in Singapore

January 12, 2019

London-born Ye Ming Yuen has been sentenced to naked flogging and 20 years in jail after reportedly being convicted of seven drug offences, including trafficking.

The sentence has forced the intervention of Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and officials who have insisted they "strongly oppose the use of corporal punishment".

Yuen, 29, who went to a £37,000-a-year Westminster school, will reportedly be stripped naked and strapped to a large wooden trestle.

According to the Daily Mail, his buttocks will be flogged 24 times with a 4ft-long rattan cane.

The punishment is the maximum caning sentence that can be handed out in Singapore.

It's reported Yuen was originally facing the death penalty but the capital charge was dropped because the net weight of the drugs involved was below 500g.

The club DJ is currently being held at Changi Prison and was first arrested over drug offences in August 2016, it's reported.

According to the report, his offences include two counts of "repeat drug trafficking" – one of 69g and one of 60g of cannabis. Another offence included drug trafficking of 15g of crystal meth.

Yuen, who achieved 11 GCSEs while at the Westminster School before falling in with the "wrong crowd, told the Mail: "I was misled in my youth, in an environment surrounded by drugs, to fall into the dark lure of addiction, oblivious to the hold it had on me."

Yuen's sister told the paper that on two occasions prison guards went to impose his caning sentence in December "without warning" but he said it was against his human rights and they didn't proceed with the punishment.

But she said the authorities don't give any advance warning of caning and said it is "mentally torturous" as it "could happen any day".

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt raised Yuen's case with Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan while visiting the country last week, it's claimed, and Foreign Office officials have made representations on the British man's behalf.

In a statement, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "Our consular staff have been assisting a British man and his family since his arrest in Singapore in 2016. We strongly oppose the use of corporal punishment, such as caning, in all cases."

A spokesman for the Singapore High Commission in London told the Mail that Singapore uses the "strictest enforcement" and "severest penalties" in drug offences to protect the welfare of the public and to "raise our children in a safe oasis".

The Sun Online has approached the Foreign Office and and the High Commission for comment.

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