Singapore issues request to repatriate StanChart bank robbery suspect

A handout picture made available by the Thailand Police on July 13 shows Canadian David James Roach at Don Muang Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.
A handout picture made available by the Thailand Police on July 13 shows Canadian David James Roach at Don Muang Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. PHOTO: EPA

SINGAPORE - The Singapore authorities have written to the Thai government for its assistance in repatriating Canadian bank robbery suspect David James Roach to Singapore.

Roach was allegedly involved in the heist which took place on July 7 at the Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village.

In a statement on Tuesday (July 19), the police said 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".

"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," said the police spokesman.

 

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 StandChart bank branch in Holland Village.

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 is alleged to have walked into the Standard Chartered Bank branch, handed the teller a slip of paper with his demands and slipped away with about $30,000 in just minutes.

The same day, he fled Singapore for Bangkok.

On the evening he arrived in Bangkok, 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 presumably in his upper bunk bed in a 12-bed dormitory.

To avoid detection, Roach 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.