Singapore

S'pore writes to Thailand

Bank robbery suspect's repatriation

The authorities have written to the Thai government to get Canadian bank robbery suspect David James Roach repatriated to Singapore.

Roach (photo) was allegedly involved in the heist which took place on July 7 at a bank branch in Holland Village.

The police said yesterday that they have made a "mutual legal assistance request to the Thai authorities to seek their assistance to forward the evidence seized from the suspect to Singapore".

The police news release added: "If the Thai authorities are unable to return the suspect directly to Singapore, we will pursue the suspect's return from whichever country Thailand eventually decides to send the suspect to."

Singapore has no extradition treaty with Thailand.

Roach, 27, was arrested in Bangkok on July 10, three days after he allegedly robbed about $30,000 in cash from the Standard Chartered Bank branch.

He had carried out the first successful bank robbery in Singapore in more than a decade, in what seemed to be his first tourist visit to the country.

On July 7 at around 11.30am, Roach allegedly walked into the bank, handed a bank teller a slip of paper with his demands and slipped away with about $30,000 in just minutes.

The same day, he fled to Bangkok.

On the evening he arrived in the Thai capital, he checked into a shared dormitory room at the Boxpackers Hostel in the popular Ratchathewi district, initially paying for a two-night stay before extending for another night.

When he was nabbed by the Thai police, he was believed to have been in his upper bunk bed in a 12-bed dormitory.

To avoid detection, Roach had apparently starved himself and slimmed down to appear different from his passport photo, according to Thai police.

Since his arrest, he has been held at an immigration detention centre in Bangkok. The Thai police cancelled his right of stay in the country after Singapore issued a warrant for his arrest.

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