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UK govt orders extradition of StanChart robbery suspect to Singapore

SINGAPORE — The United Kingdom has ordered the extradition to Singapore a Canadian national who allegedly made off with S$30,000 from Standard Chartered's Holland Village branch in 2016.

Singapore is seeking the extradition of David James Roach (pictured) on one count of robbery and another count of money laundering.

Singapore is seeking the extradition of David James Roach (pictured) on one count of robbery and another count of money laundering.

SINGAPORE — The United Kingdom has ordered the extradition to Singapore a Canadian national who allegedly made off with S$30,000 from Standard Chartered's Holland Village branch in 2016.

In a joint statement on Monday (Oct 29), Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said that the British Secretary of State had given the green light for David James Roach to be extradited to Singapore.

This came two months after the MHA and AGC said a UK court had decided that the requirements for Roach’s extradition under UK laws had been met, and it was up to the Secretary of State to decide whether he was to be extradited.

Roach now has until Nov 8 to apply to the UK High Court for permission to appeal against the latest decision.

“The Singapore authorities are working closely with the UK authorities on the next steps in this matter,” the MHA and AGC said.

Roach was arrested in London in January this year, while en route to Canada. He was being deported to Canada from Thailand, to which he fled after allegedly robbing the bank.

In June last year, he was sentenced to 14 months' jail by a Thai court for smuggling money into Thailand. The amount the 29-year-old Canadian took in violated money-laundering, customs, and money exchange laws in Thailand, where the limit is US$20,000 (S$27,600).

In February, the Singapore Government assured the UK authorities that Roach would not be caned if he was extradited to Singapore and found guilty of the crime. This was because UK laws prohibited extradition to Singapore in the absence of such an assurance.

Singapore has an extradition agreement with the UK, but not with Thailand.

TIMELINE OF THE CASE:

  • On July 7, 2016, Roach allegedly made off with S$30,000 from StanChart's Holland Village branch after handing a note to a bank teller with his demands.

  • The same day, he fled to Bangkok, but was arrested at a backpacker's hostel three days later.

  • He was sentenced to 14 months' jail in Thailand for violating money-laundering and customs laws, and was sent back to Canada.

  • On Jan 11 this year, while in transit at London's Heathrow Airport, Roach was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit, and has been held by the authorities since.

 

BACKGROUND:

  • Singapore is seeking the extradition of Roach on one count of robbery and another count of money laundering.

  • Both offences carry maximum jail terms of 10 years. Under Section 392 of Singapore's Penal Code, a person convicted of robbery can be jailed up to 10 years and sentenced to at least six strokes of the cane.

  • In February this year, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said it was a "fairly obvious" decision between letting Roach "go off scot-free" and extraditing him back to Singapore to face trial, on the condition that he would not be caned as requested by the UK.

  • On Aug 29, the MFA and AGC said that a London court had decided that the requirements for extradition under UK laws had been met.

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