AN AMERICAN, who accompanied his wife to Singapore last December for fertility treatment, and overstayed, could be the first US citizen to be caned in 16 years.

After his three-month social visit pass expired on March 15, Kamari Kenyada Charlton, 37, is believed to have remained in Singapore for an extra 169 days, which is nearly half a year, without permission from the immigration authorities.

Under the law, overstaying for more than 90 days is punished by a jail term of up to six months and a minimum three strokes of the cane.

Charlton, who was born in the Bahamas, was arrested at Changi Airport on Sept 1 as he was about to leave the country, his lawyer M. Ravi said at a press conference on Thursday.

The lawyer added that the Attorney-General's Chambers had rejected a request to consider compounding the offence and imposing a fine as was the case of several overstayers including a Croatian cousin of Charlton's wife, who had overstayed for 194 days and was allowed to leave after paying a composition fine of $500.

American overstayer faces caning