UK orders robbery suspect to be extradited to S'pore

David James Roach pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges, but not the Singapore StanChart robbery, in the Bangkok Criminal Court in June last year.
David James Roach pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges, but not the Singapore StanChart robbery, in the Bangkok Criminal Court in June last year.PHOTO: BANGKOK POST

Canadian accused of robbing StanChart of $30,000 has been held in Britain since Jan 11

The man suspected of robbing the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank in 2016 is set to be extradited to Singapore to face charges, following orders from the United Kingdom.

Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Attorney-General's Chambers said in a joint statement yesterday that the UK Secretary of State has ordered the extradition of Canadian national David James Roach to the Republic.

"The Singapore authorities are working closely with the UK authorities on the next steps in this matter," the statement added.

Under Britain's Extradition Act, Roach must be extradited within 28 days of the order unless there is an appeal. He has until Nov 8 to apply to the UK High Court for permission to appeal against this decision.

When contacted by The Straits Times, his lawyer Sundeep Pankhania declined comment on whether Roach intends to appeal.

Given that Roach has access to a lawyer, it is likely he will appeal, said Singapore lawyer Terence Seah, a partner at Virtus Law.

"He would probably want to consider that the appellate court might carry a different opinion," said Mr Seah, adding that it will boil down to whether any "unreasonableness" can be found in the Secretary of State's order.

 
 
 

Roach, 28, has been held in Britain since Jan 11, after he was arrested in London following Singapore's extradition request.

His extradition to Singapore was sought on one count of robbery which can carry a maximum of 10 years' jail and at least six strokes of the cane. Another count of money laundering is also being sought.

In February, Roach attempted to contest his extradition to Singapore in the London court.

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

On Aug 29, the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London dismissed Roach's challenge against extradition to Singapore. It said the requirements for Singapore's extradition request were met, and Roach could be extradited. The case was then sent to the Secretary of State for the final decision.

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 fled to Bangkok the same day.

He was arrested three days later.

In June last year, a Thai court sentenced him to 14 months' jail for failing to declare money - believed to be stolen from StanChart bank - that he brought into the country.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline 'UK orders robbery suspect to be extradited to S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe