January 16, 2018 / 6:54 AM / in 5 months

Canadian suspect in Singapore bank robbery faces UK court on extradition

SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) - A Canadian man suspected of a rare bank robbery in Singapore in 2016 faces a court appearance in Britain on Thursday after he was detained on a extradition request from Singapore.

A suspect of a bank robbery in Singapore is seen in this airport picture in Bangkok made available on July 12, 2016 by Thai police after he entered Thailand. REUTERS/Royal Thai Police via Dailynews

David Roach allegedly stole S$30,000 (22,691) from a Standard Chartered bank branch in July 2016, before fleeing to Thailand where he was jailed for 14-months for failing to declare such a large amount of money when he arrived.

Singaporean authorities said they had repeatedly asked Bangkok to send Roach back to face charges in the city state, but Thailand decided to deport Roach to Canada last Thursday.

Later that day and apparently en route to Canada, British police said they detained Roach at London’s Heathrow Airport.

“David Roach, 28, was arrested on Thursday, 11 January at Heathrow Airport by officers from the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit following a request from authorities in Singapore,” London police said in a statement late Monday.

Police said Roach appeared in court on Jan. 12 and was remanded into custody to appear again in court on Jan. 18.

Singapore’s Attorney General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Home Affairs said on Monday they had asked British authorities to arrest Roach and extradite him to face charges in Singapore.

Singapore, a former British colony, has an extradition treaty with Britain but not one with Thailand.

The robbery sparked a flurry of debate in Singapore about whether the country had grown too complacent about security.

Singapore has very low levels of crime, thanks in part to decades of strict policing and tough punishments, ranging from death for drug trafficking and murder, to prison and caning for lesser crimes.

Additional reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Jack Kim and Michael Perry

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