The brazen Standard Chartered bank robbery that took place in July 2016 at its Holland Village branch might finally get some closure.
The alleged perpetrator, David James Roach, a Canadian, allegedly made off with S$30,000 cash without even holding out a gun.
His dangerous weapon of choice: a handwritten note that read:
“This is a robbery, give me money, don’t call the police, I have a weapon.”
Roach never did say what weapon exactly he allegedly wielded, but we never needed to find out.
According to reports and camera footage, he allegedly calmly strolled out of the bank with the cash and even subsequently popped into a Baker and Cook nearby at Chip Bee Gardens for a slice of cake and a bottle of San Pellegrino water:
That same afternoon (the robbery took place at about 11:25am), Roach boarded a flight to Thailand, whereupon he was arrested at a backpackers' hostel and then sentenced to 14 months' jail for money-laundering and violations of currency regulations — for, ahem, carrying in excess of US$20,000 cash without declaring it to customs:
(Just as a reminder, the robber, who may or may not be Roach, made off with about S$30,000 from the StanChart branch in Singapore.)
Prior to his incarceration in Thailand, though, he was reportedly found with the following items:
"700,000 Thai Baht (S$27,000) in cash, a notebook containing plans for a robbery, a message that he allegedly wrote in the note he passed to the Standard Chartered bank teller, as well as detailed plans for escape through Chiang Mai and Dubai."
Deported Jan. 11, 2018, arrested in UK
So now, after most Singaporeans might have moved on and forgotten about the whole thing, Roach was released from Thai jail and deported, but has now been stopped in the United Kingdom on a request for extradition from Singapore.
This was announced in a press release from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Attorney-General's Chambers on Monday, Jan. 15:
Joint Statement on Arrest of David James Roach in the United Kingdom
1. David James Roach, the suspect in the Standard Chartered Bank robbery case of 7 July 2016, has been detained by UK authorities on 11 January 2018 (UK time) pursuant to a request from Singapore.
2. Since his arrest by the Thai authorities in July 2016, Singapore authorities have been in regular contact with the Thai authorities to secure his return to Singapore. On 11 January 2018, Roach was deported from Thailand after serving his imprisonment term for commission of criminal offences there, and arrived in London on 11 January 2018 (UK time). We sought the assistance of the UK authorities to arrest Roach, with a view to his eventual extradition to Singapore.
3. We are working with the UK authorities to commence the extradition proceedings.
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
15 JANUARY 2018
So it looks like we might actually be succeeding in getting him back to charge formally in court — at last!
Or at least, we'll definitely have better chances than we did with Thailand.
We'll find out soon enough, we suppose.