StanChart robbery suspect, now held in Britain, to contest extradition to Singapore

David Roach, 28, was detained by the British authorities on Jan 11, following a request from Singapore. PHOTO: BANGKOK POST

SINGAPORE - The suspect in the 2016 Standard Chartered Bank robbery case is planning to contest his extradition from Britain to Singapore.

The case of David James Roach, a Canadian national, was heard at the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday (Jan 18). His lawyer, Mr Sundeep Pankhania, told The Straits Times that Roach was planning to contest his extradition, but declined to say more.

The 28-year-old was detained by the British authorities in London on Jan 11 following a request from Singapore, said a joint statement by the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday.

"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."

Singapore has an extradition treaty with Britain.

Roach is accused of robbing StanChart 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 to Singapore. However, the Attorney-General's Office in Bangkok reportedly rejected Singapore's request. Singapore has no extradition treaty with Thailand.

On June 6 last year, he 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 .

Since his arrest in Bangkok in July 2016, the Singapore authorities have been in regular contact with the Thai authorities to secure his return to Singapore.

Media reports said that Roach was being deported from Bangkok to Canada and was in transit in London when he was arrested.

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