South African questioned over Taichung MRT graffiti

  • By Su Chin-feng and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Police on Sunday questioned a foreign national suspected of writing graffiti on a Taichung MRT elevator the day before, as the transit company vowed to seek damages.

Staff at Daqing Station on Saturday morning discovered the graffiti on the glass encasement of the elevator at Exit 2, Taichung Mass Rapid Transit Corp (臺中捷運) said in a news release yesterday.

Security footage showed a man riding up on a bicycle at 4:44am on Saturday and appearing to graffiti the elevator enclosure, before riding away at 4:50am, it said.

Photo courtesy of the Taichung City Government

Station staff notified police of their findings, who found the suspect while patrolling on Sunday afternoon, it added.

The Taichung Police Department Third Precinct yesterday said that the suspect is a 33-year-old South African.

During questioning, he said he was a graffiti artist in South Africa, and was unaware of the local laws surrounding the practice, the precinct said.

The suspect is likely to be charged with offenses against the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), punishable by a fine of up to NT$3,000, it added.

The MRT company said that some of the graffiti could not be removed immediately, but would be fully cleaned within days.

Patrols would also be increased in the vicinity to prevent a recurrence, it added.

As for the suspect, the company said it would file a suit to claim damages under civil law.

The company said the suspect could also be liable under Article 354 of the Criminal Code for causing injury to the public by damaging something, which is punishable by up to two years imprisonment or a fine of up to NT$15,000.

Additional reporting by CNA

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