SINGAPORE - The man suspected of robbing the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank in 2016 is set to be extradited to face charges here, following orders from Britain's Secretary of State.
Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Attorney-General's Chambers said in a joint statement on Monday (Oct 29) that the British 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.
According to 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 British High Court for permission to appeal against this decision.
When contacted by The Straits Times on Monday, Roach's lawyer Sundeep Pankhania declined comment on whether his client intends to appeal the order.
Roach, 28, has been held in Britain since Jan 11 after he was arrested by the British authorities in London following Singapore's extradition request.
Roach's 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 gave assurance to Britain in late February that Roach would not be caned even if he is convicted of robbery, a crime that comes with corporal punishment in Singapore.
The MHA had earlier said the assurance was necessary or the British authorities would not have permitted the extradition.
On Aug 29, the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London dismissed Roach's challenge against extradition to Singapore. The court said that the requirements for Singapore's extradition request had been met, and Roach could be extradited. The case was then sent to the British Secretary of State for the final decision.
Roach is accused of robbing $30,000 from StanChart's Holland Village branch 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's hostel three days later, and was held in 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 him 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 and was in transit in London when he was arrested.