The Singapore government has acceded to the United Kingdom’s request not to cane suspected Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) robber David Roach if he were found guilty of robbery, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement on Tuesday (20 February).
“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,” said the MHA statement.
“The Singapore Government has agreed to the UK authorities’ request…The provision of the assurance is being done to try and ensure that Roach does not escape justice, and does not affect the general position taken by Singapore on corporal punishment. The UK Courts will decide whether to extradite Roach,” said MHA.
It noted that UK extradition laws prohibit the UK from extraditing Roach to Singapore in the absence of such an assurance.
Roach, a Canadian, was detained by British authorities in January at Singapore’s request, after he was deported from Bangkok.
His extradition is being sought on one count of robbery and one count of money laundering. Robbery carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and at least six strokes of the cane, while anyone found guilty of money laundering may be fined up to $500,000 and/or jailed for up to 10 years.
On 7 July 2016, Roach went to the StanChart branch in Holland Village, where he allegedly robbed $30,000 after handing over a note to a bank teller. No weapon was used during the robbery.
The Canadian subsequently fled to Bangkok, where he was detained on 10 July. He reportedly denied any involvement in the robbery.
Thailand last year rejected Singapore’s request to extradite Roach. There is no extradition treaty between the two countries.
Roach is reportedly contesting extradition from the UK.