Singapore

Singapore working on extraditing bank robber detained in London

David James Roach, the suspect in the 2016 Standard Chartered Bank robbery case, has been detained by the British authorities, and Singapore is working on his extradition.

Roach, a Canadian national, was detained in London on Thursday following a request from Singapore, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a joint statement yesterday.

Singapore has an extradition treaty with Britain.

Roach, 28, is accused of robbing Standard Chartered Bank's Holland Village branch of $30,000 on July 7, 2016.

He allegedly handed the teller a note with his demands, then fled to Bangkok with the money on the same day. He was arrested at a backpacker hostel three days later and held in remand in Bangkok.

The Singapore authorities asked the Thai government for assistance to repatriate Roach back to Singapore.

However, the Attorney-General's Office in Bangkok reportedly rejected the request. Singapore has no extradition treaty with Thailand.

Since the July 2016 arrest, the Singapore authorities have been in regular contact with the Thai authorities to secure Roach's return, said the AGC and MHA.

On June 6, Roach was sentenced to 14 months in jail in Thailand for violating money laundering and Customs laws.

He was carrying the equivalent of more than US$20,000 (S$26,000) - believed to be the loot from the bank robbery - when he entered Thailand while on the run.

It is unclear what will happen to the money that he allegedly stole, which was seized by the Thai authorities.

The Singapore police had asked the Thai authorities to return the evidence seized to the country. The Straits Times understands that the request still stands.

Roach was deported from Thailand after serving his prison term, and arrived in London on Thursday.

"We sought the assistance of the UK authorities to arrest Roach, with a view to his eventual extradition to Singapore," said the AGC and MHA statement. "We are working with the UK authorities to commence the extradition proceedings."

COURT & CRIME