StanChart robbery suspect extradited, charged in court

Canadian David James Roach, the suspect in a 2016 robbery of a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village, arriving in Singapore yesterday in the custody of the Singapore Police Force after he was extradited from Britain. He has been charged w
Canadian David James Roach, the suspect in a 2016 robbery of a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village, arriving in Singapore yesterday in the custody of the Singapore Police Force after he was extradited from Britain. He has been charged with robbery and removing the benefits of his criminal conduct.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

It marks end of lengthy process to have him returned to Singapore

The suspect in the 2016 Standard Chartered Bank robberywas extradited to Singaporeand charged with robbery and money laundering yesterday.

Canadian David James Roach, 30, had allegedly robbed the bank's Holland Village branch of more than $30,000 on July 7, 2016, by walking into the bank and slipping a teller a note with his demands, claiming that he had a weapon.

Roach then fled to Thailand, where he was arrested on July 9, 2016, and later sentenced to 14 months' jail for violating money laundering and other Thai Customs laws.

He was deported from Thailand in January 2018, but was detained in London, at Singapore's request, while en route to Canada.

The Thai government had rejected Singapore's request to extradite Roach, as the two countries have no extradition treaty in place.

The successful extradition from Britain marks the end of a lengthy process to have Roach returned to Singapore.

Singapore had to reassure the British government that Roach would not be caned if he were to be convicted of robbery, which is an offence that comes with mandatory caning here.

British laws prohibit the authorities from extraditing someone without such an undertaking. The country abolished caning for criminals in 1948.

Roach appealed multiple times to the British High Court to reverse the decision to extradite him to Singapore, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) in a joint statement.

The British High Court heard and dismissed his appeal, and Roach was handed over to the SPF's custody on Monday.

He arrived in Singapore yesterday and appeared in court via video link the same day.

PURSUIT OF JUSTICE

The Singapore authorities will do whatever is necessary and permissible within our legal framework to pursue and bring to justice those who commit crimes in Singapore, regardless of nationality...

SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE AND THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S CHAMBERS, in a joint statement.

He faces one count of robbery, and one count of removing the benefits of his criminal conduct.

In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, all necessary precautionary measures in handling the extradition were taken, said the police.

The British prison service had certified Roach fit for travel before he was handed over to police officers from Singapore.

The SPF said its officers sent to Britain were required to monitor their health status, as well as Roach's health, while on the flight back to Singapore.

Roach, who did not present any Covid-19 symptoms, will be placed under 14-day segregation for observation while under legal custody, said the police.

 
 

The officers who returned with him will also stay at home and monitor their health as a precautionary measure, the police added.

In a joint statement early yesterday, the SPF and AGC said: "The Singapore authorities will do whatever is necessary and permissible within our legal framework to pursue and bring to justice those who commit crimes in Singapore, regardless of nationality and where they might have fled to.

"We will also not hesitate to take firm action against these individuals, and will seek an appropriate sentence if they are convicted."

Roach will be back in court on April 7.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2020, with the headline 'StanChart robbery suspect extradited, charged in court'. Print Edition | Subscribe