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River Ryan robbery accused also being investigated by Thai customs
David James Roach of River Ryan, accused of robbing a bank in Singapore, has been detained in Thailand for seven months now. Thailand police are now investigating Roach for failing to report to Thai customs that he was carrying more than $20,000 US when he entered the country.
RIVER RYAN, N.S. — A River Ryan man accused of robbing a bank in Singapore and detained in Thailand for the past seven months is now facing more legal problems in the foreign country.
According to the Straits Times newspaper in Singapore, David James Roach, 27, is now being investigated by Thailand police for failing to report carrying more than $20,000 in U.S. currency through Thai customs when he entered the country in July 2016.
Shin Min Daily News also reported that Roach, who has hired a lawyer, has been transferred from Bangkok's immigration detention centre and is currently being held in prison. The newspaper reported an investigation into Roach's customs offence started in November and took about 70 days. He has since been handed over to Thai prosecutors.
Thai Immigration Police Chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn said Roach will be returned to the immigration detention centre once the customs offence case has been completed.
"The immigration police will then follow instructions on whether to extradite him to Singapore or deport him back to Canada," Nathanson said to the Daily News.
According to information on the Royal Thai embassy website:
“Any person who brings or takes an aggregate amount of foreign currency exceeding $20,000 US or its equivalent out of or into Thailand shall declare such amount of foreign currency to a Customs Officer.”
“Failure to declare upon bringing currency that exceeds the amount restricted by law or its equivalent out of or into Thailand or making any false declaration to a Customs Officer is a criminal offence.”
Everything began on July 7, 2016 when Roach is alleged to have handed the teller of a Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore a note saying he had a weapon and wanted money. He is alleged to have fled to Bangkok, Thailand, with 700,000 baht — equivalent to $30,000 US — the same day. Three days later he was arrested at a hostel in Bangkok and found with $28,300 US in cash and a notebook detailing his escape plan.
Last July the Singapore authorities wrote to the Attorney General's Office in Bangkok asking for assistance to repatriate Roach back to Singapore
The Strait Times reported a month later that the Attorney General's Office in Bangkok reportedly rejected Singapore's request. Singapore has no extradition treaty with Thailand.
"We denied it because we are not in the position to consider it," said Amnat Chotchai, director-general of international affairs at the Attorney General's Office. He did not elaborate on the reasons to the newspaper.
Thai authorities cancelled Roach's right of stay in the country after Singapore issued a warrant for his arrest. As an immigration offender, Roach would be deported back to Canada if he cannot be extradited.
However Amnat told Shin Min Daily News that they have yet to receive such a request from the Canadian authorities.
Roach has been in remand in Thailand since.
In the meantime, officials with Global Affairs Canada have confirmed to the Cape Breton Post they are assisting Roach and his family.
“Consular services are being provided to Mr. Roach who has been detained in Bangkok, Thailand, and to his family,” said Kristine Racicot, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada. “Canadian consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information. To protect the privacy of the individual concerned, further details on this case cannot be released.”
According to the Government of Canada website, if a person is arrested or detained in countries that are party to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the arresting authorities are obliged to advise you of your right to access consular representation.
The website states” “A consular official can provide you with general information about the country involved, prison conditions, and the local justice system. Consular officials will not arrange your release from prison.
“If you break the laws of another country, you are subject to the judicial system of that country. Being a foreigner or not knowing the local laws is not an excuse. Global Affairs Canada can neither protect you from the consequences of your actions nor override the decisions of local authorities. “
Due to overcrowding in Thai prisons, none of the cells have beds or mattresses, just a thin sheet for each prisoner. If prisoners have any money they can buy extra bedding. Reports described as many as 60 convicts to a cell sleeping head to foot.