Wanted Singapore bank robber gets jail in Bangkok

David James Roach (centre) in the Bangkok Criminal Court on Tuesday. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Criminal Court has sentenced a Canadian wanted in Singapore for robbing a bank to 14 months imprisonment on currency and money laundering charges.

David James Roach, 28, fled to Thailand after allegedly robbing a bank in Singapore last year. 

He allegedly presented a threatening note to a cashier and made off with S$30,450 (about 800,000 baht) from Standard Chartered Bank’s Holland Village branch on July 7, 2016. He then travelled to Thailand, where he was arrested a few days later. 

He was charged with violating currency regulations by bringing cash into the country without the proper customs declaration, and money laundering. 

Roach confessed. He was given one year in prison for money laundering, four months for violating the foreign exchange act and one year for not declaring he was carrying more than US$20,000 equivalent  (around 680,000 baht) in cash into the country.

The  two years and four months in total was then halved becaused he confessed. The money was ordered to be seized.

Singapore and Thailand do not have an extradition treaty. Singapore had asked for Roach’s return to face the robbery charge. The request was rejected.

His lawyer said Roach confessed only to smuggling foreign currency into Thailand. He had not confessed to the robbery in Singapore. The lawyer was consulting his client’s relatives about whether to appeal.

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