BANGKOK – Seven months after the Canadian David James Roach, 27, was arrested in Bangkok for robbing a Bank in Singapore, Thai Police are now investigating him for failing to report he was carrying more than US$20,000 (S$28,300) he stole, when he entered the country.
Thai immigration police chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn said Thai Customs requires travellers to declare if they are carrying more than US$20,000 or its equivalent.
Roach allegedly handed the teller a note with his demands at the Holland Village branch of Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore, then fled to Bangkok with the money on the same day.
Three days later, he was arrested at a backpacker hostel with 700,000 baht (S$28,300) in cash, as well as a notebook detailing his escape plan, which included stopovers in Chiang Mai and Dubai.
He has been in a Bangkok Immigration remand center ever since.
Roach’s lawyer, reported to Thai Media yesterday that he has been transferred from Bangkok’s immigration detention centre and is currently held in prison.
Last July, the Singapore authorities wrote to the Thai government, asking for assistance to repatriate Roach and the money back to Singapore.
A month later, the Attorney-General’s Office in Bangkok reportedly rejected Singapore’s request, as Singapore has no extradition treaty with Thailand.
“We denied it because we are not in the position to consider it,” said Mr Amnat Chotchai, director-general of international affairs at the Attorney- General’s Office.
The Thai authorities cancelled Roach’s right of stay in the country after Singapore issued a warrant for his arrest. But as an immigration offender, Roach would be deported back to Canada if he cannot be extradited.
However, Mr Amnat told the media that they have yet to receive such a request from the Canadian authorities.
Thai immigration police chief Nathathorn Prousoontorn said Roach would return to the immigration detention centre once the customs offence case is completed. The immigration police will then follow instructions on deporting him back to Canada.
Bringing Currency in or out of Thailand
Any person who brings or takes an aggregate amount of foreign currency exceeding USD20,000 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 offense.
For Thai currency (Baht), any person can bring total amount not exceed THB500,000 to any Thailand’s bounded countries and not exceed THB50,000 to any destination countries.
More than that mentioned amount, you have to declare to a Customs Officer or exchange to others currency before depart from Thailand.
By Charging Mr. Roach with failing to declare the 700,000 baht (S$28,300) in cash, Thai Customs Authorities can seize the money under Thai Law, which will supersede any legal request of them having to return the stole money to the Bank in Singapore.
Source: The Straits Times, Asia One