Singapore

Family and friends of StanChart robbery suspect shocked by his arrest

David James Roach's family and friends were shocked to learn of his arrest.

The mother of the Canadian national was not aware of his arrest when Shin Min Daily News contacted her at 5am yesterday.

Roach's mother, who was not named, told the Chinese evening daily she had not seen her son since he went abroad last August.

He had taken a break from his engineering studies at a Canadian university to travel.

His mother asked Shin Min: "Where did the robbery happen? What's the distance between Singapore and Bangkok? Is he safe? What's the status of the case? Will he face punishment?

"Please tell him that we miss him, we are very worried, and we love him."

She said she would seek consular and legal assistance for her son, reported Shin Min.

A Canadian woman, who was identified as Roach's travelling companion, was also surprised. The woman, who was not named, travelled with Roach for three months through Turkey, Iran and Nepal.

KNIFE

The host of the house that Roach stayed in while he was in Turkey was also stunned to see the Canadian's face in the Thai media.

He said he remembered Roach distinctly because he had always placed a knife beside his bed throughout his stay.The host said he found it strange, but assumed it was for protection.

For three days before the robbery, Roach stayed at a hostel in Singapore's Chinatown.

The hostel told Shin Min that he did not make a prior booking.

At a press conference yesterday, Mr Nithithorn Chintakanon, Deputy Commander of the Thai Tourist Police, said they took two days to trace Roach by contacting the taxi driver and examining closed-circuit television footage where he alighted the taxi, reported The Straits Times.

Roach was found with the equivalent of about $27,000 in US, Singapore and Thai currencies.

He also had a notebook that contained the same phrases he had allegedly written on the slip of paper used to rob the bank.

The note reportedly said: "This is a robbery, I have a weapon, give me money, don't call police."

It also contained nine steps on how to commit the robbery, and five steps on how to flee Singapore, as well as plans to commit robberies in Chiang Mai and Dubai, Shin Min reported.

RobberythailandarrestFamilyfriendsUncategorisedFinance