UK green lights extradition of Canadian national accused of S$30,000 bank robbery

Alleged robber of StanChart in Singapore – photo

The United Kingdom has agreed to extradite the Canadian national, David James Roach, to Singapore to stand trial for allegedly robbing the Standard Chartered branch in Holland Village, Singapore in 2016.

Mr Roach allegedly made off with S$30,000 from the bank before fleeing to Bangkok where he was arrested three days later in a backpacker’s hostel. He was sentenced to 14 months in jail by Thai courts for violating their money laundering and customs law. He was then sent back to Canada after serving his time.

However in January this year, while in transit at London Heathrow Airport, Roach was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit who has held him in custody since.

The UK has an extradition agreement with Singapore but on the condition that he would not be caned. In February, Singapore Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said that agreeing to UK’s condition of not caning was a “fairly obvious” decision. Better to having him face trial with only the treat of jail than letting him “go off scot-free”.

The UK court had already decided two months ago that the requirements for extradition under UK laws had been met – with Singapore agreeing to not cane Roach if found guilty – and it is up to the Secretary of State of the UK to approve his extradition.

In a joint statement by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), it was announced the British Secretary of State had given the green light for Roach to be extradited to Singapore.

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

David James Roach has until 8th November to appeal against the extradition.

If the appeal is denied and Roach is extradited to Singapore to face trial on one count of robbery and one of money laundering, he faces a maximum jail term of 10 years.

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