SINGAPORE: Canadian David Roach, a suspect in the robbery of a Standard Chartered bank branch in Singapore, has been extradited from the UK, the Attorney-General's Chamber (AGC) and Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Tuesday (Mar 17).
"With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Service, Roach was handed over to the Singapore Police Force’s custody on Mar 16, 2020," the joint statement said, adding that he will be charged in court for robbery and money laundering on Tuesday.
Roach allegedly stole S$30,000 from a Standard Chartered bank branch in Holland Village in July 2016.
He fled to Thailand where he was jailed for 14 months for failing to declare the large sum of money. Singapore had asked Thai authorities to send Roach to Singapore to face charges but they decided to deport him to Canada.
Roach was on the way to Canada when he was detained at London's Heathrow Airport by officers from the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit on Jan 11, 2018.
A British judge ruled in August 2018 that Roach could be extradited to Singapore, after which the case went to the Secretary of State for a final decision.
In October 2018, the UK Secretary of State ordered Roach's extradition from Britain.
Roach then applied to the UK High Court for permission to appeal against the judge’s decision to send the case to the Secretary of State. His application was refused on Aug 13 last year.
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Roach renewed his application for permission to appeal, which was granted by the High Court on Oct 31, 2019 although it was limited to his extradition on the money laundering charge. The appeal was heard and dismissed on Feb 4 this year.
On Feb 17, Roach applied for an order to reopen extradition proceedings, and to stay extradition proceedings pending the determination of the application to reopen.
The application was rejected by the High Court on Mar 5.
"Singapore has been working closely with various jurisdictions to secure Roach’s return to Singapore," AGC and SPF 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."
NO COVID-19 SYMPTOMS: SPF
In response to CNA's queries, SPF said Roach underwent a medical examinations in the UK and when he arrived in Singapore. "He did not present any COVID-19 symptoms," police added.
Roach will be placed under 14-day segregation for observation while in custody, SPF said, and police officers handling the extradition will stay at home and monitor their health status as a precautionary measure.
He was escorted by officers from the Criminal Investigation Department.
As of 11.59pm on Monday, Singapore started issuing visitors with recent travel history to the UK - among several other countries - with a 14-day stay-home notice, in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
More than 1,540 people in the UK have tested positive for COVID-19, with 53 dead.
"The police would like to assure the public that all necessary precautionary measures were taken in the handling of the extradition of Roach," said SPF.
"The UK Prison Service had conducted a medical examination on Roach, including checking for fever or respiratory symptoms, and certified him fit for travel before custody of Roach was handed over to SPF officers.
"SPF officers sent to UK to conduct the extradition were also required to monitor their health status on a daily basis.
"As an additional precautionary measure, SPF officers handling the extradition continued to monitor their health status as well as Roach’s while on the flight returning to Singapore."