Singapore Denies Entry To Professional Beggar

Many people want to travel the world, but need money to do it — so they need a job. But the irony is once people have a job, they’re too busy to travel the world.

But one man has defied the odds. He gets to travel the world and live it up in every city he visits, but doesn’t have a job — instead, he begs on the street to fund his travels.

Begging As A Career

Meet career panhandler and vagrant Benjamin Holst.


Singapore Denied Him

He has travelled to many countries, but met his match in Singapore last week, after being denied entry twice.

The international “sensation” was first stopped at the Woodlands Checkpoint (April 3) while trying to enter Singapore via bus. 

In an earlier comment on Facebook, before being barred from Singapore, Mr Holst expressed his eagerness to visit our “gaylang”.

Like any resilient human being, Mr Holst gave Singapore another shot. This time he chose to pursue an aerial “attack”.

Sadly, his plans were foiled and he was refused entry into Singapore at Changi Airport after his flight from KL on April 4.


It’s a pity he didn’t try to swim across to Singapore from Johor Baru though, he might have had better luck than these guys.

Nevertheless, all was not lost for Mr Holst after being turned away from Singapore, as he claimed to have gotten a free flight back to Denmark:

Who Is He?

32-year-old Mr Holst first made the news back in 2014, when he was spotted begging for money in Bangkok.

Mr Holst is cursed with a rather unfortunate condition, macrodystrophia lipomatosa, which left him with a extremely swollen right leg — and he uses it to his advantage to elicit sympathy when begging.


Don’t start feeling sorry for him just yet though, as Mr Holst is far from a poor unfortunate soul. In fact, he’s probably been on more holidays than most of us.

Better still, his “adventures” are almost completely sponsored by generous people who have fallen for his sob stories.

Let’s take a look at some of the cities he has been to, and his adventures there:

1. Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand

This is where we first heard of Mr Holst. He was first discovered in the streets of Bangkok’s Khaosan Road by pedestrians. He claimed to have lost all his money and passport.

The tourist police and the people felt pity for him and raised funds to buy him a ticket to his home country, Germany. They even provided him with a free hotel stay.


Deutscher Hilfsverein Thailand, an organisation that helps Germans overseas, raised roughly 50,000 Thai baht (S$2,016) for Mr Holst.

However, he repaid this gesture by partying his new-found money away in Pattaya the very next week, and continuing to beg there.


The Thai police quickly caught onto his antics and sent him packing.


2. Manila, Philippines

Gotta give it to Mr Holst though, he came back with a bang when he was spotted on the streets of Manila.

No prizes for guessing what he was doing.


However, the people of the Philippines were well aware of his gimmicks. They even created videos that warned people not to give him their money.

3. Hong Kong

He then resurfaced in March 2016 in the bustling city of Hong Kong to “source” for more funds, and was spotted begging outside Wanchai MTR station.


Funds for what? Why, a night of food and perhaps more at Hong Kong’s red light district.

4. Bali and Surabaya, Indonesia

Mr Holst then decided to stop by the sunny island of Bali.

After employing his usual tactic of getting his pocket money from the streets, Mr Holst took to Kuta Bar for a night of celebration.

Maybe he didn’t like the place too much, and decided to continue his travels by heading to Surabaya, but not before leaving Bali with a wistful Facebook post though.

However, Surabaya was not exactly one of his brighter moments, as he promptly got caught and arrested.

5. Singapore

If you thought that getting arrested would do him any good, think again.

Mr Holst first visited our garden city in February this year, and he seemed to be having the time of his life.

He plastered social media with his escapades, frolicking around Universal Studios and partying in Geylang.

His time in geylang must certainly have been really memorable, given his excitement to return there earlier this month.

6. Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia

What’s a good vacation to Singapore without visiting our friendly neighbours?

Mr Holst took a train to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore, then went on to Penang, saying he was in search of “cheaper girls”.

Well, it seems like he did get to meet a girl.


Of course, no Holst adventure is complete without a night of raving.

7. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

To cap off his tour of Asia, Mr Holst visited Vietnam too.

Alcoholism and womanism; the only two words than can capture the complete essence of Mr Holst’s experience.

Of course, there was the customary panhandling.


Given his vested interest in Asia, you may wonder why he hasn’t tried his shenanigans nearer to home continent of Europe.

Well, of course he has!

8. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

He visited Spain late last year, and seemed to be having a rather lavish lifestyle.

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

After getting deported back to Denmark from Singapore earlier this month, Mr Holst must have been feeling pretty satisfied with all the effort he had poured into his travels. Thus, he decided to reward himself with a few nights of “relaxation”.

Of course, he also desperately needed a hit of weed. It must have been for all the stress caused by fleeceing people.

10. Cuba

After chilling out back in Europe, he has been up to his usual adventures again.

On Tuesday, he posted a photo purportedly at Playa Pilar, Cuba, a beach near the resort of Cayo Guillermo, enjoying a tasty meal at McDonald’s.

11. Tokyo, Japan

His arrived at his latest stop at a good time — it’s Sakura season now in the Land Of The Rising Sun, and many tourists flock there to gaze at the blossoms.

However, we think his interests in Japan are more lascivious — he expressed a desire to head to kabukicho, an area in Tokyo famous for its nightlife that includes female escorts.


While one might be tempted to admire Mr Holst’s resilience, daring and ingenuity, and sympathise with him for being afflicted with an ailment, we can’t help but find his behaviour odious.

He’s using his disability to prey on the good nature of people, and worse still, using the money gained to fund a hedonistic lifestyle of partying, alcohol, drugs and women.

That’s just basically disrespectful to folks who actually work hard for their money.

And he even has the cheek to post his exploits on Facebook — meaning he obviously doesn’t see any shame in his actions.

It’s great that Singapore wised up to his antics and banned him from entering — he will pollute our country no further.

But there is one thing you can learn from him though — how to accumulate Frequent Flyer miles.

We will be following his future exploits with morbid interest.

Featured image from Facebook