Singapore could take lead in Asean extradition treaty

The formation of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) has improved by leaps and bounds the economy and social progress of people in the 10-nation bloc.

But the group has yet to make much progress in the area of the extradition treaty.

As a result of the absence of an extradition treaty between Thailand and Singapore, the latter could not bring back Canadian David James Roach, who is accused of robbing the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank of $30,000, to stand trial in Singapore (Asean states must consider interests of fellow members, by Tan Pin Ho; Jan 28).

Despite Asean's over 50 years of existence, the subject of an extradition treaty has not been given much importance and attention. If there are no extradition treaties among Asean nations, criminals and terrorists could commit crimes in one Asean country and find a safe haven in another Asean country which has no extradition treaty with the country where the crime was committed.

To bring the perpetrators to justice, it is paramount that Asean nations have an extradition treaty with one another for the whole grouping.

Singapore, in its chairmanship role of Asean this year, could initiate the move.

Pavithran Vidyadharan

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