SINGAPORE: The Government has agreed that a sentence of corporal punishment will not be carried out if suspected bank robber David Roach is found guilty by a Singapore court, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a press release on Tuesday (Feb 20).
"The Singapore Government is working with UK authorities on the extradition of David James Roach to Singapore," said MHA. "As part of the extradition proceedings, the UK government has requested an assurance that if Roach were to be found guilty by a Singapore Court of robbery, the sentence of corporal punishment will not be carried out."
"The Singapore Government has agreed to the UK authorities’ request," said MHA. It added that UK extradition laws prohibit the UK from extraditing Roach to Singapore in the absence of such an assurance.
The assurance is to "try and ensure that Roach does not escape justice", said MHA, adding that this "does not affect the general position taken by Singapore on corporal punishment".
"The UK courts will decide whether to extradite Roach," it added.
The 28-year-old Canadian 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.
Singapore is seeking his extradition on one count of robbery and one count of money laundering. Both offences carry a maximum jail term of 10 years.
In addition to a jail term, anyone found guilty of robbery in Singapore "shall also be punished with caning with not less than six strokes" if the crime was committed after 7am and before 7pm, according to the Penal Code.