StanChart robbery suspect files extradition appeal

David James Roach (centre), who pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges but not StanChart robbery, in the Bangkok Criminal Court on June 2017.
David James Roach (centre), who pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges but not StanChart robbery, in the Bangkok Criminal Court on June 2017. PHOTO: BANGKOK POST

The man accused of robbing the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank in 2016 is appealing against his extradition from Britain to Singapore.

David James Roach, 28, filed an appeal on Oct 31 against the decision, a spokesman for Britain's Home Office told The Straits Times on Wednesday.

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Attorney-General's Chambers said on Oct 29 that Britain's Secretary of State had ordered Roach's extradition to the Republic.

If not for the appeal, Roach would have been extradited within 28 days of the extradition order issued on Oct 23.

The Canadian has been held in Britain since Jan 11 this year when he was arrested in London after Singapore made an extradition request.

In February, Roach tried to contest his extradition to Singapore in the London courts. But the courts dismissed the challenge and gave the green light for the extradition in late August. It sent the case to the Secretary of State for a final decision.

Singapore had assured Britain that Roach would not be caned even if he were convicted of robbery, a crime which comes with corporal punishment in Singapore. The assurance was needed, said MHA, or the British authorities would not have allowed the extradition.

Roach's extradition was sought on one count of robbery, which carries a maximum of 10 years' jail and at least six strokes of the cane. Another count of money laundering is also being sought.

 

Roach is accused of robbing StanChart's Holland Village branch of $30,000 on July 7, 2016. He allegedly handed the teller a note with his demands, and then fled to Bangkok that same day.

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

The Singapore authorities wrote to the Thai government, asking for assistance in repatriating 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, a Thai court sentenced Roach to 14 months' jail for failing to declare the money he brought into the country.

He was carrying the equivalent of more than US$20,000 (S$27,500) - believed to be the money stolen from the bank - when he entered Thailand.

Roach was being deported from Bangkok to Canada when he was arrested while in transit in London.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2018, with the headline 'StanChart robbery suspect files extradition appeal'. Print Edition | Subscribe