Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Tuesday that the officials are now in talks with UK government on the extradition of the accused of Standard Chartered bank robbery, David James Roach to the republic.
The Coconuts reported that David, who is a citizen of Canada, is wanted by Singapore government for allegedly stealing S$30,000 from the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered bank on Thursday, July 7, 2016, at around 11.25 am.
According to reports, after the robbery, he went to Bangkok. On July 10 Thai police arrested the 28-year-old accused from Boxpackers Hostel in the Ratchathewi district and served 14-months imprisonment for bank robbery in Singapore and bringing stolen cash into Thailand.
Since the country has no extradition treaty with Singapore, the Attorney-General's Office in Bangkok refused to send David back to the republic.
Again on Jan 11, 2017, he was detained at London's Heathrow Airport by the officers from the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit, while going back to Canada.
However, Canning is a common punishment in Singapore, since the British colonial rule and it is also applicable for the bank robbers, as they face a minimum penalty of six strokes, including two years of imprisonment.
But According to The Online Citizen, UK government has requested an assurance that if the accused found guilty by Singapore Court of robbery, then the corporal punishment will not be prosecuted, as Britain has abolished it in 1948.
Later, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs said that they have agreed to the request of UK authority, as in the absence of such assurance UK extradition laws prohibit UK from extraditing the accused to Singapore.
Singapore is seeking his extradition on the charges of robbery and money laundering. According to section 390 of the Penal Code for robbery, there are four divisions in terms of punishment. These are,
- General punishment (s 392): Imprisonment of a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 10 years AND minimum 6 strokes of the cane.
- If the offence is committed after 7.00pm and before 7.00am the punishment will be more severe à Imprisonment of a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 14 years AND minimum 6 strokes of the cane.
- Attempted robbery (s 393): Imprisonment of a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 7 years AND minimum 6 strokes of the cane.
- Voluntarily causing hurt in robbery (s 394): Imprisonment of a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years AND minimum 12 strokes of the cane.
- Gang-robbery (s395): Imprisonment of a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 20 years AND minimum 12 strokes of the cane.
Choo Zheng Xi, a director at Peter Low & Choo said, "Diplomatic assurances are not legally binding and would not amount to legal precedent. Caning is mandatory for a conviction of robbery."
"What MHA's assurance means is that, if Roach were to be convicted of robbery, his sentence of caning would have to be computed by the President of Singapore on the advice of Cabinet. Under existing case law, the President would have to act on the advice of Cabinet," he concluded.