US man faces three years in South Korean jail after being accused of spraying graffiti on trains 

US man, 27, faces three years in a South Korean jail after being extradited to the country accused of spraying graffiti on subway trains

  • An American graffiti artist was extradited to South Korea on Wednesday 
  • The 27-year-old is suspected of graffitiing trains and faces three years in prison
  • His 28-year-old Italian accomplice has not yet been found by Korean authorities  

An American graffiti artist has been extradited to South Korea for questioning over spray-painting subway trains. 

The 27-year-old, who has not been named by South Korean police, allegedly broke into nine train garages in September with an Italian accomplice. 

The man was identified using CCTV footage and now faces up to three years in South Korean prison. 

Romanian police stopped the man in November and he was extradited back to South Korea on Wednesday to appear at Incheon District Court.

The 27-year-old American man, who has not been named by police, faces up to three years in prison for spray-painting subway trains

The 27-year-old American man, who has not been named by police, faces up to three years in prison for spray-painting subway trains 

Spray-painting public facilities is punishable with three years in prison in South Korea. South Korean police released pictures of the vandalized trains

Spray-painting public facilities is punishable with three years in prison in South Korea. South Korean police released pictures of the vandalized trains

Police began investigating after a complaint was made by a subway service operator about the vandalism. 

The pair painted the outside of trains with words including ‘word’, ‘ride’ and ‘deny’ on eight carriages across six regions of South Korea. 

An Interpol red notice was issued to arrest the American man after it was discovered that he had left South Korea for Vietnam. 

He was apprehended by Romanian police in November and was brought back to South Korea on Wednesday. The man attended a district court hearing on Friday. 

Police are still searching for his 28-year-old Italian accomplice.  

The graffiti artist faces up to three years in prison according to South Korean law and a fine of seven million yen ($5,674). 

It’s not clear if the case will go to trial but South Korea has previously convicted foreign nationals of spray-painting public facilities. 

The artist was apprehended in Romania in November following an Interpol red notice for his arrest

The artist was apprehended in Romania in November following an Interpol red notice for his arrest 

The pair broke into subway train garages and painted the outside of trains with the words 'word' and 'deny'

The pair broke into subway train garages and painted the outside of trains with the words ‘word’ and ‘deny’

South Korean authorities first took notice of graffiti after a university lecturer, Park Jung-soo, spray-painted a rat on a G-20 poster in 2011. 

This was seen to be an insulting depiction of then president Lee Myung-bak and Park was fined two million won ($1,620). 

In 2015 South Korean police found four Australian men spray-painting in the Seoul subway and said that people could be criminally charged with property damage and trespass. 

Two British men from the Manchester graffiti gang SMT were sentenced to four months in South Korean prison in 2017 for painting Seoul subway trains. 

A couple sparked a major debate after accidentally vandalizing a finished piece by artist JonOne in 2021. 

The $400,000 piece ‘Untitled’, which included brushes and paints, was on display at a shopping mall where the Korean couple believed it was a participatory painting. 

They were arrested but later released by South Korean police after it was determined that they had not intended to damage the artwork. 

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