Cape Bre­toner’s le­gal trou­bles con­tinue to grow

River Ryan rob­bery ac­cused also be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by Thai cus­toms


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.


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