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Thai police chief said bank robbery suspect to be sent abroad

Thailand's police chief said that the Canadian suspect of the bank robbery in Singapore will be sent aboard during a press conference on Wednesday, but it was not said whether the suspect would be sent to Singapore or Canada.

Thai Police Commissioner General Jakthip Chaijinda told reporters in Bangkok that Singapore had asked for the suspect to be extradited to Singapore.

"Singapore is in the middle of asking for this suspect back but the decision rests with the courts," said Jakthip. "We are waiting to send him abroad."

The Singapore Police Force had earlier announced that it has been in communication with the Royal Thai Police (RTP), and obtained their assistance in locating and arresting the suspect and was engaging RTP in Thailand to see whether the suspect can be released into the Singapore's custody.

Thai immigration chief Police Lieutenant General Nattorn Prohsunthorn named the suspect on Tuesday as 27-year-old Canadian David James Roach. Yesterday, the police had earlier said that Roach was 26.

"We tried to interrogate David but he would not speak to us and asked to speak to his embassy," said Nattorn.

"Yesterday the Canadian embassy came to see him. We think the Canadians would like to send him back to Canada but first we need to follow Thai legal procedure."

Mr Nathatorn added that the Thai police did not technically arrest Roach; they merely cancelled his right to stay in Thailand. Therefore, they are not able to keep him for very long, he said.

Thailand has an extradition treaty with Canada.

It was reported yesterday that David James Roach, 26, a Canadian was apprehended at his backpacker hostel at Soi Phetchaburi Road, Phayathai in Bangkok by the joint forces of Thai immigration police and Bangkok Police at around 3pm on July 10. The Thai police also shared that over 10,000 US dollars were found in his room.

An eye-witness to the arrest reportedly said that more than 10 plain-clothes police officers stood in the doorway with guns drawn during the arrest of the suspect at the hostel.

The suspect had entered Thailand via Suvarnabhumi Airport on July 7 last week.

The robbery on July 7 was reported to have happened only within the span of a few minutes. The suspect walked toward the teller unarmed then handed her a note. She took the money and handed him $30,000. The Singapore Police Force was then informed of the case of robbery at the said branch by the bank after the suspect had left the scene.

Upon receipt of the report, officers from Clementi Division, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) and the Police Intelligence Department (PID) responded immediately and conducted investigations and pursued all available leads.

SPF through the investigations managed to establish the identity of the suspect on the same day but he had already left Singapore for Bangkok, shortly after the crime was reported.

Attribution from media sources.