By Aukkarapon Niyomat
BANGKOK (Reuters) – A Canadian suspected of robbing a Singapore bank of S$30,000 ($22,250) will be sent abroad, Thailand’s police chief said on Wednesday, but he did not say whether he would be sent to Singapore or Canada.
The rare bank robbery in Singapore sparked a flurry of debate about whether the country has grown too complacent about security, with crime rates among the lowest in the world.
Thai Police Commissioner General Jakthip Chaijinda told reporters in Bangkok that Singapore had asked for the suspect to be extradited to Singapore.
“Singapore is in the middle of asking for this suspect back but the decision rests with the courts,” said Jakthip. “We are waiting to send him abroad.”
Thai immigration chief Police Lieutenant General Nattorn Prohsunthorn named the suspect on Tuesday as 27-year-old Canadian David James Roach.
Thai police had earlier said Roach was 26.
“We tried to interrogate David but he would not speak to us and asked to speak to his embassy,” said Nattorn.
“Yesterday the Canadian embassy came to see him. We think the Canadians would like to send him back to Canada but first we need to follow Thai legal procedure.”
Thailand has an extradition treaty with Canada.
Reuters was unable to immediately reach the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok for comment.
Roach arrived in Bangkok on Thursday, hours after the Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore’s Holland Village was robbed.
He was arrested at a hostel in Bangkok’s Pratunam shopping district.
A man slipped the Singapore bank teller a note saying he was armed, a source with knowledge of the matter said.
The teller pressed a silent alarm button and police arrived within minutes, but it was too late, said the source, who declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Standard Chartered said the bank had taken “immediate actions to further enhance” security. It declined to comment on the details of the robbery.
(Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Nick Macfie)