Published: 07 July 2021
1. On 7 July 2021, David James Roach, the perpetrator of the Standard Chartered Bank robbery which took place on 7 July 2016, pleaded guilty in the State Courts to charges of robbery and money laundering. He was sentenced to a total of five years’ imprisonment and six strokes of the cane. Section 392 of the Penal Code provides for mandatory caning of at least six strokes of the cane as part of the punishment for the offence of robbery.
2. Roach had fled to Thailand on the day of the robbery before his identity could be established. He was arrested by the Thai authorities in July 2016 and subsequently imprisoned for the commission of criminal offences in Thailand. Roach was deported from Thailand on 11 January 2018 and arrived in London on the same day. The Singapore authorities sought assistance from the UK authorities to arrest Roach, with a view to securing his extradition to Singapore. Roach was eventually handed over to the Singapore Police Force’s custody on 16 March 2020, having exhausted all legal channels for appeal in the UK against his extradition. On 17 March 2020, he was charged in the State Courts on charges of robbery and money laundering.
3. As part of the extradition proceedings, the Singapore Government undertook to the UK Government that any sentence of corporal punishment imposed by a Singapore Court on Roach for the offences for which he was extradited would not be carried out. This is because the UK’s extradition laws would prohibit the extradition of Roach to Singapore in the absence of such an assurance.
4. This assurance given to the UK is in recognition of the differing views that countries have on corporal punishment and does not affect Singapore’s long-held view that such punishment does not constitute torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or contravene international law. The assurance was given solely to secure Roach’s extradition to Singapore to face justice for his crimes. The Singapore Government will do whatever is necessary and permissible within our legal framework to seek justice against those who commit crimes in Singapore.
5. The Singapore Government is working through the necessary procedures to fulfil the assurance given to the UK Government.
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
7 JULY 2021