One of the vandalized cars on the Marunouchi subway line Photo: Tokyo Metropolitan Police
crime

Australian man arrested for spraying graffiti on Tokyo subway cars

89 Comments

Police in Tokyo said Thursday they have arrested a 27-year-old Australian man on suspicion of vandalizing subway cars by spraying graffiti on them.

According to police, Paul Han, of unknown occupation, is suspected of trespassing in the Koishikawa rail yard in Bunkyo Ward between 1 and 2 a.m. on Feb 19, 2018, and spraying graffiti with black, blue, red and yellow paint on two Marunouchi subway line cars, Fuji TV reported.

Han left Japan in late February last year but returned on Wednesday and was arrested at Narita airport upon his arrival. Police said he was identified as a suspect through surveillance camera footage, which also showed images of a number of other foreigners.

Police found marker pens, tubes of paint, six GoPro cameras, boltcutters and a headlamp in Han’s luggage when he arrived on Wednesday. Han has denied the allegations, saying he doesn’t know anything about it, police said.

Police said they are questioning Han about at least 30 cases of vandalism by graffiti on trains in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Miyagi prefectures where Han visited with foreign friends in a rental car last February. He is believed to be part of a crew called the Good Fellas who have posted videos of themselves vandalizing trains on YouTube.

Editor's note: The story has been corrected to show that tubes of paint were found in Han's luggage, not spray paint cans.

© Japan Tsday

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

89 Comments
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Why the hell else would someone carry spray paint with them on the plane?

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Let him spend some time in a cell and then kick him out with no re-entry

32 ( +34 / -2 )

The San Francisco Bay Area was visited by these Australian idiots, earlier this year -- https://www.msn.com/en-au/kids/other/australian-graffiti-artist-33-faces-four-years-in-jail-in-america-after-a-spray-paint-rampage-in-california/ar-BBSjghB?li=AA4RE4&%252525252525253Bocid=ientp

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Man that's fugly.

It gives me memories of growing up in NYC in the 70's.

The city was covered in that crap.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Not satisfied with making an appalling mess in public and private places in Australia this moron has painted himself into a corner in Japan --he may well have time to reflect on his actions in the clink.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

But before you kick him out, have him clean the subway cars in a public place while crowds of people scoff at him

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Police found marker pens, spray paint cans, a camera and a headlamp in Han’s luggage when he arrived on Wednesday. Han has denied the allegations, saying he doesn’t know anything about it, police said.

OK, I have a basic question.

Spray paint cans tend to be pressurized aerosol cans. And are specifically banned by airlines because of their explosive properties.

How the heck did his luggage make it onto the plane and all the way to Japan?! I mean, I thought all checked luggage was scanned for prohibited materials these days.

Just wondering.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Idiot....

@sensei258 - Completely agree. Make him clean up his mess then delivery him to Narita for a one way ticket out of the country.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

@zones2surf

OK, I have a basic question. 

Spray paint cans tend to be pressurized aerosol cans. And are specifically banned by airlines because of their explosive properties.

How the heck did his luggage make it onto the plane and all the way to Japan?! I mean, I thought all checked luggage was scanned for prohibited materials these days.

Just wondering.

Agree. There seems to be something missing. Maybe the police tailed him after arriving, following him to a home centre or something where he bought the spray cans. Or the Aussie airport security were asleep on the job.

Either way, hope the J-cops throw the book at him.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The story has been corrected to show that tubes of paint were found in Han's luggage, not spray paint cans.

Vandalism Tourism... what’s next?

Hope he enjoys some jail time.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

In Britain and Australia, the lefty liberal media calls graffiti "street art". I call it vandalism. Whenever I see an article in The Guardian praising "street art" I always wonder how the editors would react if these buggers decorated their building and its offices.

3 ( +19 / -16 )

This is from another article:

Upon his arrest, Han was found to be in possession of spray cans, paint markers, bolt cutters, a head torch, binoculars, and half-a-dozen GoPro cameras,

Looks like the security staff at the Australian airport may have some questions to answer.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

He's really dumb coming back to Japan. Doesn't he know about the medieval "justice" system here??

17 ( +19 / -2 )

bullfighter

Yes. He should have tagged it with ‘Banksy’ in the bottom right corner, then it would be “art” and worth a million bucks.

Glad he got nicked.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Give him a choice, 4 years in jail, a cash payment for the damage or as above make him clean it up.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

IDIOT! LOCK HIM UP!

15 ( +15 / -0 )

You can't even claim that the graffiti in the photo is "art". It is out and out vandalism and destruction on other people's property.

This is one of the few times I wish Japan had Singaporean style justice for vandals like him.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

@proxy

”a cash payment...” we all know how much Japanese fines reflect the crime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

His tags look pretty crap too.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

And these selfish losers don’t even have good taste in music. They call themselves the Good fellas, I was waiting for the song Layla in the video.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

We need to start caning them for vandalizing, just like in Singapore.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

how about getting a job dude

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Remove the video please, don't give these losers a stage or views.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I have no intention of viewing that video.

That 'art' in the photo looks very amateurish, at best.

Ghosn treatment?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I expected more of Aussies.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Man that's fugly.

It gives me memories of growing up in NYC in the 70's.

The city was covered in that crap.

@garypen, yeah, it was horrendous. I didn't see it firsthand in the '70s but saw some of it in the '80s. Truly horrific.

That 'art' in the photo looks very amateurish, at best.

Nothing "art" about it!! It is disgusting graffiti and is just pure vandalism!

One thing I DO love about Japan are the clean, well-maintained, and tasteful trains and subways!!

Throw the book at this loser!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This Aussie says "LOCK THE MORON UP!".

14 ( +14 / -0 )

A few years in jail will give this guy time to grow up.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Can cause a problem for foreigner here, and foreign tourists, reflecting back on us.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The idiocy of vandalism apart, it’s not even good. He is Banksey with a big fat W. Enjoy your stay, fine and boot out.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

JT - I'm not sure that embedding a video of these people committing crimes is a great idea.

You do realize that the more views videos get, the more money these people earn?

Your decision increases the number of people accessing this group's YouTube videos and channel, and is contributing to their financial gain.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

i hope for a minimum of 10 years hard labor with every dime payed back to train with extra damages by his relatives.

both well deserved for the fact that his graffiti is an absolute garbage and amount to pure vandalism.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Police found marker pens, tubes of paint, six GoPro cameras, boltcutters and a headlamp in Han’s luggage when he arrived on Wednesday. Han has denied the allegations, saying he doesn’t know anything about it, police said.

Classic.

Hate tagging. Anywhere.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

what many foreigners find difficult to learn is that for many things that would result in a slap on the wrist overseas is punishable by handcuffs and criminal record on the spot.

Even I find it shocking sometimes when watching those north american Immigration/Customs shows, "ok, you got weed in your pocket but this is not allowed, we have to seize it"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Make him clean it up as they do here in Australia when they are caught spraying this crap on trains. I assume this individual has been caught here in Australia spraying this nonsense, made to clean it up, got annoyed with our judicial system regarding this crime, and is now touring the world to get his ridiculous message seen by others; hence, don't promote these type of stories as mentioned by a previous respondent.

On the other side of the coin: I am all for allocated areas to be set aside to enable street artists to display there work without the sense of apprehension from a legal perspective as is the case in Canberra.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

> JalapenoToday  09:49 am JST

I expected more of Aussies.

These graffiti vandals exist in any country. Why would you hold Australia to a higher standard?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Yuck, serious lack of talent and, oh yes, 'good fellas' don't lie when caught.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

More like Not-So-Good Fellas. Should’ve played more Jet Set Radio, and got his skills up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Police found marker pens, tubes of paint, six GoPro cameras, [sic] boltcutters and a headlamp in Han’s luggage when he arrived on Wednesday. Han has denied the allegations, saying he doesn’t know anything about it, police said.

I can't tell you the number of times I've had to travel into Japan, and surprisingly found that someone at Narita or at the hotel planted those same things into my personal luggage. Yeah I feel for him, Han's definitely a victim here.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That thinner stuff messes up your brain. Looking at their 'artwork' once more, they must all have been seriously jet-lagged too.

2/10 is the best I can give them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"of unknown occupation" He's a painter.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@expat

You forgot to put quotes around "painter."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe there needs to be greater security when purchases of paint are being made -- database of purchasers i.d.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

expat.. no he is not a "painter" maybe paint sprayer at best and not good one at that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I do hope he does some prison time for that, that mess would cost the subway company a lot of money to clean up.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It'd be a lot less offensive if the guy actually had any ounce of artistic talent, which he obviously does not.

An 80-year old obaa-chan could spray paint better tags than this dude.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is it difficult to buy spray paint or tube of paint or sprayer in Japan? I do see a lot of shops in Harajuku have graffiti on their roller doors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I find graffiti disgusting.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

One of the reasons I don’t wanna ever live in the uk again is graffiti. Banksey OK, but scribbles over every single thing? Scratched on bus/train windows. About seven times on my front door. When dogs mark their territory it is not permanent and washes away by itself. These losers destroy people’s lives, intimidate and create financial burden on others. They are pathetic dogs.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-04/australian-arrested-over-tokyo-train-graffiti-attack/10971920

there is a picture of the stuffs in his luggage.

as usual, these people all trying to outdo and out-extreme each other for the likes and views on social media.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I remember years ago an American kid was arrested in

Singapore and sentenced to 6 lashes for graffiti There was such an uproar about how unfair the punishment was. Sometime later the little sob returned to the US and committed the same crime.

Maybe punishment doesn't deter crime, but a real good harsh sentencing would make the taxpayers feel better.

This guy from Australia ought to have his butt lashed so hard that he walks on his tip toes for months.

I'm always so impressed by the cleanliness of the trains and stations, and then have some neanderthal do this just frost my butt.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I don't mind graffiti art as long as it is produced by Banksy standard and at appropriate places. Other than that, the work produced by this group of morons on the trains is disgustingly ugly. Give him a heavy fine for making graffiti art a bad name.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lately I have been really embarrassed of more and more Australian people and their behaviour in Japan! They're such morons! Drinking on the streets, not following the rules, swearing and yelling in public because they seem to be of the opinion that no one knows what they're saying because they're speaking English. It's appalling and so ignorant. I hate being lumped in with this kind of Australian as one of their "fellow Aussies". It seems because of cheaper flights, Japan has become the hot new destination for the former Bali bound Bogans of Australia.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It’s vandalism, destruction of property, obstruction of business and trespassing. Hopefully he will be charged with them all. Tagging is the most disgusting thing ever. Tagging is not street art. Street art is commissioned. Tagging is vandalism.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I hope that the justice acts with forcefulness before acts of this type. It is a lack of respect towards the furniture of the cities. That they pay the expensive costs of cleaning. Busy

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have been to japan twice. One does not throw rubbish on ground. There trains are extremely clean. Lock him up and then kick him out. It is a pleasure to visit japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I see quite a lot of tagging and graffiti around Tokyo and its outskirts. However, this case is pretty extensive and offensive. It's even more sensationalised by him being a foreigner and it seems his sole purpose for visiting Japan is to deface property. I also have no doubt there is more than one person involved. I would not be surprised if there are Japanese involved in the group either. I totally despise all forms of graffiti. It is nothing more than destruction of property and vandalism. I was a signwriter for twenty years in Australia before coming to Japan and I cannot count the amount of my work that was defaced and/or destroyed by these pathetic punks. Graffiti is not cool nor is it art as these punks like to think. It is vandalism plain and simple!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Australian ambassador should make a formal apology. Thousands and thousands of drinking aussies will come over for the rugby World Cup. If it becomes a diplomatic incident, then these graffiti scum might realize it is serious and not just a laugh at the expense of all Japanese.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Offer him 20 years in prison, but less if he turns in his friends. Then they can share the time between them. Five friends, 4 years each.

Graffiiti is one thing. But coming into Japan solely to vandalize far and wide is disgusting behavior.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I am an Aussie and my fellow Aussies generally disgust me in more ways than one. Lock him up.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

One does wonder, politically incorrect as it no doubt is to entertain such thoughts, whether HAN was motivated to do said deed out of an atavistic desire to avenge the ill treatment wrought on his ancestors. Just speculating.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I know y'all are mad but you gotta admit, the guys got talent.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

In the description on their YouTube video:

"This is a documentary of an underground culture, please read our disclaimer. We do not encourage vandalism."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@darknuts I'll admit the guy has talent for getting caught.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My friend's, friend's son was jailed here for standing by his departing gate at Narita and acting strangely and they searched him and found drugs on him.  BAM, he was thrown in prison, and from what this guy told my friend is that the mother had to buy his prison clothes, there is ZERO smoking (the guy was a heavy smoker), he had to eat everything on his plate whether he liked it or not and he had to keep his head shaven at all times to nearly bald.

So hotel prison is waiting for you and you will not like and neither will your family as they will have to support your dumb ass here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What do Japanese nationals get for graffiti vandalism? It should be the same punishment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow! Oh, he should definitely get locked up for a few months, pay a hefty fine and get bounced out of the country. This reminds me of NYC subways back in the 80’s where literally all cars were from top to bottom sprayed, sure there were some amazing artworks to marvel at, but at the end of the day it just became an eyesore and once Giuliani became mayor there was a zero tolerance on all of the crime, drugs, sex shops and definitely an overhaul of the entire subway system. Now they still try and tag the cars every now and then, but those cars are immediately taken offline, scrubbed down and put right back into service. I don’t know what this guy was thinking, but he should definitely get the fullest penalty of what the law allows for this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Oh the horror! Unforgivable act worthy of beheading and life sentence! Jesus. The guy sprayed graffiti a freaking train, it's not the end of the world. Who cares. All these people outraged over this BS should be outraged over their backward primitive legal system and all the other problems they have in their society.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The guy sprayed graffiti a freaking train, it's not the end of the world.

Today graffiti. Tomorrow crapping on the street like Seattle. Zero tolerance.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Here is his picture at arrest:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-04/paul-han-is-led-away-by-police-1/10972248

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Big dummies. They post themselves on YouTube for anyone to see. And then Han carries paint tubes in his luggage. I guess he just 'couldn't' buy some in town. Still - he's a BIG DUMMY.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I skimmed the video (before I realized I was giving them another view, sorry...) and it actually made me angry. I grew up in LA, with graffiti in every direction. Back then we had Chaka, once he was caught, he couldn't make it out of the courthouse without tagging the elevator on the way out.

How can this idiot show up with what was basically a 'Youtube vandal starter kit' in his luggage and be dumb enough to think he can deny anything? Well, I guess my story about Chaka answers that question, these guys are pretty stupid.

On a related note, YouTube has been cracking down on various types of videos it thinks are inappropriate, vandals showcasing their crimes should probably be one of them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why would he do that? He's ruining Japan's nice clean looks. I'm really bummed out now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Commanteer, like your suggestion.

Graffitti is not art, it is criminal damage, it makes the place look run down and depressed.

I agree this idiot and all others like him anywhere in the world should be charged the full cost of cleaning up their filth as well in cases like this the economic cost of those trains being out of service. Then gaol time for the crime and as he is a foreigner, once he has served his full sentence, thrown out of the country and banned from ever returning

I have to admit I couldn’t really blame any other country refusing him entry as he is likely to commit similar offences in the future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I know y'all are mad but you gotta admit, the guys got talent.

Surely you jest. There's not a smidgen of talent in that graffiti.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Nippori NickToday 05:40 am JSTI know y'all are mad but you gotta admit, the guys got talent.

Surely you jest. There's not a smidgen of talent in that graffiti.

Talent? Yeah you have those fancy 'bubble' letters but can anyone really read that malarkey? Murals are art - they make pictures of scenary and are beautiful. Graffiti looks like what it is - unreadable unintelligible crap.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Another attention addict.

Please process him by the numbers - what is it, 35 days without being charged? Then the rest ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Only dumb people see it as art and talent. Even Banksy or watever became famous for spraying, they all need to be drowned in paints.

I call art and talent even when a children draws at school or at home but not those rubbish graffiti by freaks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Whatta Dickhead !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe I have watched too many movies however they should have just followed him until they caught him in the act. No excuses and straight to jail. They may have also caught some of his buddies in the act as well. Disgrace.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Google “nyc subway car graffiti 70s” and you will see direct influence on the tags shown in the photo of the Tokyo rail car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Glad they had surveillance cameras installed even if it means Big Brother is present.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm glad many of you are not in law enforcement. Cane him like in Singapore? He deserves harsh treatment? So dumb. Yeah he vandalized property, there are appropriate punishments for such crimes. Some of you are downright sadistic.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Huge amounts of money are being spent in many countries in cleaning up graffiti.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cane him like in Singapore? He deserves harsh treatment? So dumb. Yeah he vandalized property, there are appropriate punishments for such crimes

Personally I feel a few strokes of the cane would get his attention and encourage him to amend his anti-social behaviour. You'd practically be doing him a favour.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ok HG-what punishment do you feel is appropriate?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Nippori Nick

If it's proven that they damaged property, then the proper punishment is financial compensation to the damages dealt. How hard is that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If it's proven that they damaged property, then the proper punishment is financial compensation to the damages dealt. How hard is that?

What if they have no assets and no ability to pay? Then what do you do?

What if they are super rich and any monetary fine is viewed as "cost of having fun". Rich people don't worry about fines.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

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