Standard Chartered Bank Robber Arrested in the UK and Faces Extradition to Singapore


David James Roach, the man who robbed a Standard Chartered bank in 2016, faces extradition to Singapore. After serving a 14-month prison term in Thailand, Mr. Roach was deported to the UK. Upon arrival Mr. Roach was detained by British authorities upon the request of Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have issued a joint statement saying Singapore has asked for help from UK officials for the arrest and extradition of Mr. Roach. The statement read, “We are working with the UK authorities to commence the extradition proceedings.”

On July 7, 2016 Mr. Roach, reportedly walked into the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank and gave one of the tellers a slip of paper, demanding an amount of money. He was given S$30,000 and walked away on foot. He then fled to Bangkok, but was arrested at a hostel for backpackers after three days. Mr. Roach is said to have robbed the Standard Chartered bank branch on his own, without assistance from others.

As Thailand and Singapore have no extradition treaty with each other, Thai authorities did not agree with Singapore’s request to send Mr. Roach back, despite back and forth negotiations between officials of the two countries.

In June 6, 2017, Mr. Roach received a 14-month prison sentence for money laundering and violating Customs laws since he brought the money he stole into Thailand.

He was recently released and then deported on January 11. If he is extradited to Singapore, Mr. Roach faces another jail sentence for the bank robbery two years ago.

Netizens were quick to condemn Mr. Roach’s actions and declare that he deserves jail time in Singapore.

Other netizens were curious about the lack of an extradition treaty between Singapore and Thailand, both of which are ASEAN countries.

Yet others were concerned for the safety of Singapore’s banks, astonished at how easy it was for Mr. Roach to carry out the robbery.