StanChart robbery

Suspect detained in London; Singapore working on extradition

David James Roach, 28, is accused of robbing StanChart's Holland Village branch of $30,000 in 2016.
David James Roach, 28, is accused of robbing StanChart's Holland Village branch of $30,000 in 2016.

David James Roach, the suspect in the 2016 Standard Chartered Bank robbery case, has been detained by the British authorities, and Singapore is working on his extradition.

Roach, a Canadian national, was detained in London last Thursday following a request from Singapore, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a joint statement yesterday.

Singapore has an extradition treaty with Britain.

Roach, 28, is accused of robbing Standard Chartered Bank's Holland Village branch of $30,000 on July 7, 2016.

He allegedly handed the teller a note with his demands, then fled to Bangkok with the money on the same day.

He was arrested at a backpacker hostel three days later and was held in remand in Bangkok.

The Singapore authorities wrote to the Thai government, asking for assistance to repatriate Roach back to Singapore.

However, the Attorney-General's Office in Bangkok reportedly rejected Singapore's request. Singapore has no extradition treaty with Thailand.

Since his arrest by the Thai authorities in July 2016, the Singapore authorities have been in regular contact with the Thai authorities to secure his return to Singapore, said the AGC and MHA.

On June 6 last year, Roach was sentenced to 14 months in jail in Thailand for violating money laundering and Customs laws by bringing loot into the country.

He was carrying the equivalent of more than US$20,000 (S$26,000) - believed to be the loot from the bank robbery - when he entered Thailand while on the run.

It is unclear what will happen to the money that he allegedly stole, which was seized by the Thai authorities as part of their investigations. The Singapore police had put in a request to the Thai authorities to return the evidence seized to the country. The Straits Times understands that the request still stands.

Roach was deported from Thailand after serving his prison term for the commission of criminal offences there, and arrived in London last Thursday, said the AGC and MHA.

"We sought the assistance of the UK authorities to arrest Roach, with a view to his eventual extradition to Singapore," said the statement. "We are working with the UK authorities to commence the extradition proceedings."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2018, with the headline 'Suspect detained in London; Singapore working on extradition'. Print Edition | Subscribe