A Canadian man who staged a rare bank robbery in Singapore has been sentenced to five years in jail, but will escape a caning due to an agreement that allowed his extradition.
David James Roach, who robbed a Standard Chartered Bank branch in 2016, was extradited to Singapore last year from Britain after the city-state offered assurances that he would not be flogged.
The 31-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of bank robbery and another charge of money laundering for taking the stolen money out of the country.
A court on Wednesday handed down the jail term and six strokes of the cane – a mandatory punishment in the city-state for robbery.
But Singapore’s interior ministry and attorney general’s chambers said they were working “through the necessary procedures to fulfil the assurance given to the UK government” that Roach would be spared caning.
Roach strolled into the bank and took S$30,000 (RM92,707) after presenting a threatening note, a rare robbery in a country with one of the world’s lowest crime rates.
He fled to Bangkok, where he was jailed on charges related to bringing the stolen cash into Thailand but authorities refused to send him to Singapore as the countries do not have an extradition treaty.
After his release, he was detained at London’s Heathrow Airport while in transit en route to Canada, and Singapore requested that he be deported to the city-state.
Singapore and Britain have an extradition treaty, but London would only deport Roach if the city-state agreed that he would not face corporal punishment.
Flogging with a rattan cane, a legacy of British colonial rule, is a common punishment in Singapore. — AFP