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Sex change spares her from caning

SINGAPORE, Friday (AFP) - A Thai prostitute who was born a man and underwent a sex-change operation was spared from caning in Singapore on drugs charges after doctors determined she was a woman, a report said Friday.

Because Singapore does not cane women, the fate of Mongkorn Pusuwan has hung in the balance for weeks as a district court awaited a medical report on her sex, the Straits Times said.

Pusuwan underwent a sex-change 10 years ago. However, Thailand does not recognise sex changes and Mongkorn's passport still listed her as male although she looks like a woman.

District Judge Bala Reddy spared her from caning after it was medically proven she was a woman, but sentenced her to six years in jail on Wednesday after she pleaded guilty to trafficking small amounts of drugs.

In Singapore, the death sentence is mandatory for trafficking in more than 15 grams (half an ounce) of heroin, 30 grams of cocaine and 500 grams of cannabis. Caning is carried out for a number of criminal offences.

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