Breakthrough as Aussie private schoolgirls fly home from Singapore after they were arrested at a Victoria’s Secret and threatened with years in jail
- Five arrested Melbourne private schoolgirls have returned home from Singapore
- Group of 18 girls from Bacchus Marsh Grammar went to Singapore last Saturday
- Five girls were arrested at a shopping centre for allegedly stealing on Sunday
- Police accused them of stealing Victoria’s Secret lingerie and shoes from Crocs
- The girls arrived at Melbourne Airport on Saturday after days of interrogation
Five students from Bacchus Marsh Grammar’s Maddingley campus, west of Melbourne’s CBD, flew home on Saturday after they were dramatically arrested outside a Singaporean Victoria’s Secret on November 13.
The girls flew home with their 13 other classmates after leaving Singapore at 12.30am (AEDT) on Saturday.
Principal Andrew Neal said it only mattered the girls were ‘home on time’.
A group of 18 students from Bacchus Marsh Grammar’s Maddingley campus (above) are back home after five were arrested for stealing shoes and lingerie
Singaporean police questioned seven girls and arrested five at a Victoria’s Secret after they allegedly stole underwear and Crocs shoes (pictured, the 2018 Victoria’s Secret runway)
Principal Andrew Neal (above) said the arrested girls arrived back in Melbourne with their peers at the scheduled time
‘Everyone is here and they all came in on the same flight,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘All matters have been resolved and the girls were allowed to proceed to the airport with no further action.
‘It was a bit delicate but this is a good outcome.’
The principal said he would make no further comment until he spoke with the girls.
Singaporean police questioned seven girls and arrested five last Sunday after CCTV footage emerged of them allegedly stealing underwear from lingerie giant Victoria’s Secret and shoes from Crocs.
The girls were pulled aside police while they were still inside the Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road, a popular retail district, and brought back to the store before their arrest.
A letter to parents (above) boasted the $3,300 Singaporean trip and netball competition as a ‘cultural experience’
The girls were arrested at the Mandarin Gallery (above) on Orchard Road, a popular shopping district in Singapore
They were held by police for 10 hours and eventually released back to their hotel at 3.30am.
With the assistance of teachers and supervisors, the girls then went back and forth from their accommodation to the police station for several days before they were permitted to fly home.
They faced up to three years in jail if found guilty of theft under Singapore’s ultra-harsh laws.
The students had arrived in Singapore on Saturday to participate in an eight-day international netball competition, the International Youth Netball Challenge.
Bacchus Marsh Grammar has been running its Elite Netball Sports Camp program in Singapore for 11 years.
The $3,300 trip boasted ‘a number of friendly matches with the Singapore Sports School teams and possible other netball teams from visiting schools’ as well as a visit to the Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios and Singapore Flyer ferriswheel.
Students were warned (above) by Bacchus Marsh Grammar they could face harsh penalties for committing ‘very serious offences’ while on the Singapore trip
All 18 girls arrived back at Melbourne Airport (above) on Saturday, almost a week after five were arrested
Parents were told the trip was ‘a cultural experience in Asia’ and would give students ‘education on travel and being an elite athlete’.
However, students were warned they could face harsh penalties for ‘very serious offences’ committed overseas.
Principal Neal previously praised the Singaporean police for how they handled the matter.
‘The police have been firm, fair and thorough and the school is appreciative of their professionalism,’ he said.
‘The girls are currently in the direct care of Bacchus Marsh Grammar school staff and we look forward to them returning with the group later in the week.
‘The school would like to thank the Australian Embassy staff in Singapore for the support of our staff in Singapore and their ongoing assistance in this matter.’
Police brought the five students back to the Victoria’s Secret they allegedly stole lingerie from before their arrest (pictured, a Victoria’s Secret storefront)
BACCHUS MARSH GRAMMAR ARRESTS TIMELINE
Saturday, November 12: 18 Bacchus Marsh Grammar students arrive in Singapore for the International Youth Netball Challenge.
Sunday, November 13: Seven students are questioned by police at the Mandarin Gallery shopping centre. Five are arrested in Victoria’s Secret for allegedly stealing underwear and shoes from Crocs
Monday, November 14: The five students are released back to their hotel at 3.30am after 10 hours of police investigation. They spend the next several days between their accommodation and police custody for questioning.
Saturday, November 19: All 18 students fly out of Singapore at 12.30am (AEDT) and arrive safely in Melbourne.