Thailand rejects Singapore's request to hand over Holland Village bank robbery suspect

Authorities say Roach might be deported back to Canada as he is an immigration offender in Thailand.

Thailand rejected Singapore's request to extradite the Canadian suspect in the Holland Village bank robbery case on July 7.

Amnat Chotchai, director-general of the international affairs department at the Attorney General's Office, told The Straits Times: "We denied it because we are not in the position to consider it". But he did not elaborate on the reasons for rejecting the matter.

David James Roach, a Canadian national is accused of robbing the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank by allegedly handing the teller a note which said he had a weapon.

On the day of the robbery, the 27-year-old suspect flew from Singapore to Bangkok but was detained by Thai police three days later. Since then, he has been held at Bangkok's immigration detention centre.

Thailand and Singapore have not signed an extradition treaty and it is not clear if there are any other ways that would allow Roach to be flown from Bangkok to Singapore to face trial.

Roach would be deported back to Canada as he is an immigration offender in Thailand. But in that case, Singapore would have to contact the Canadian officials to pursue the case. But that might lead to a lot of complications.

The immigration police chief of Thailand, Nathathorn Prousoontorn said he was waiting "for a final decision on the matter, but could not hold Roach for much longer".

"The Canadian government wants us to deport him back to Canada. Immigration (police) can't detain him for a long time. It has been a month. We have to make a decision," Prousoontorn told The Straits Times.

When Singapore police was contacted regarding this matter, they said they are still working with the Thai authorities on the matter.

Thai police arrested Roach on July 9 in Bangkok's Boxpackers Hostel after Singapore police alerted them. The police said Roach was found with 700,000 baht (S$27,000) in cash.

He was also carrying a notebook that had a detailed escape plan, including stopovers in Chiang Mai and Dubai.