Fri, Aug 31, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Court rules alleged robber can be sent back to Singapore


A British court has ruled a man suspected of carrying out a rare bank robbery in Singapore can be extradited after the city-state promised he would not be caned, officials said yesterday.

The British government is now to make the final decision on whether David Roach, a Canadian citizen, would be sent to the city-state to face justice, the Singaporean Ministry of Home Affairs and Attorney General’s office said in a statement.

Roach is wanted in Singapore for allegedly stealing S$30,000 (US$21,952 at the current exchange rate) from a Standard Chartered bank branch in 2016 after strolling in and presenting a threatening note.

He fled to Bangkok, where he was jailed on charges related to carrying the stolen cash into Thailand, but Thai authorities refused to send him to Singapore, as the countries do not have an extradition treaty.

After his release, he was detained in January at London’s Heathrow Airport while in transit en route to Canada, and Singapore requested that he be deported to the city-state. Singapore and Britain have an extradition treaty.

The British court on Wednesday decided “that the requirements for Singapore’s extradition request under UK law have been met,” the statement said.

In a bid to get the extradition request approved, Singapore agreed to a demand from London that Roach would not face corporal punishment if convicted.

Flogging with a heavy rattan cane is a common punishment in Singapore, with convicted bank robbers facing a minimum penalty of six strokes, as well as at least two years in jail.

However, Britain abolished caning as a punishment for criminals decades ago and refuses to extradite anyone to a country where the punishment exists.

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