Bank robbery suspect arrested in Bangkok

Security tape was put up around the perimeter of the Standard Chartered Bank at Holland Village following a robbery on Thursday (July 7).
Security tape was put up around the perimeter of the Standard Chartered Bank at Holland Village following a robbery on Thursday (July 7). ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The man suspected of robbing a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village was nabbed in Bangkok after more than 72 hours on the run, the police confirmed yesterday.

The Canadian citizen was arrested by the Royal Thai Police at noon on Sunday at the Boxpackers Hostel, said Major-General Apichart Suriboonya, who heads Thailand's Interpol unit. The hostel is in Petchburi Road in central Bangkok.

The man is suspected of walking into the StanChart branch at about 11.25am last Thursday, handing the female teller a piece of paper with his demands, and fleeing on foot with about $30,000 in cash.

According to Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News, the note said: "This is a robbery, I have a weapon, give me money, don't call police."

The suspect's identity was established on the day of the crime, but he had already left Singapore, the police said. Maj-Gen Apichart said the suspect arrived in Thailand at about 5pm (6pm Singapore time).

The man had a 30-day visa with free entry for tourism purposes. His right to stay in the country was cancelled after the Thai police received an arrest warrant from Singapore.

The Singapore authorities requested their Thai counterparts to have the man sent back here on Friday.

He refused to speak to the Thai police and demanded to meet an officer from the Canadian Embassy. He is being held at an immigration detention centre in Bangkok.

Maj-Gen Apichart said "it won't be long" before the suspect is sent to the Thai Embassy in Singapore, though the request has to go through the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Further details beyond the initial police statements were not disclosed earlier to ensure that the arrest operation would not be jeopardised, the Singapore police said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2016, with the headline 'Bank robbery suspect arrested in Bangkok'. Print Edition | Subscribe