Australian police offer $633,000 reward to Indian suspect

Australian police offer $633,000 reward to Indian suspect
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australian police awarded a reward of A$1 million ($633,000) on Thursday for information on the whereabouts of an Indian suspected of killing a woman on a tropical beach four years ago before returning to his homeland.

Detective Superintendent Sonia Smith said Queensland state police officers, who speak Hindi and Punjabi, are waiting to be contacted at an office in Cairns from India via WhatsApp or online about the whereabouts of 38-year-old Rajwinder Singh.

Singh was a nurse working in Innisfail, south of Cairns, when the body of 24-year-old Toyah Cordingley was found on Monday (October 24th) on Wangetti Beach. 22, 2018.

He had gone to the beach north of Cairns the day before to walk his dog.

Police said Singh flew from Cairns to Sydney the day Cordingley’s body was found, and went to India the next day.

The award is the largest in Queensland history and is unique in that it does not seek a clue that solves a crime and leads to a successful prosecution. Instead, money is only offered for a suspect’s whereabouts and information leading to his arrest.

Police Minister Mark Ryan approved the award and was confident people knew where Singh could be found.

“We know that people know this person, they know where this person is, and we’re asking these people to do the right thing,” Ryan said.

“Now there are millions of reasons why a billion eyes around the world should help us do justice to Toyah,” he added.

Deputy Police Commissioner Tracy Lindford said detectives believed Singh remained in India. She urged to highlight witnesses among India’s 1.4 billion population and to “give some respite to the family missing Toyah.”

Smith said three Queensland detectives were already in India working with Indian authorities on the investigation.

The victim’s parents, Troy Cordingley and Vanessa Gardiner, released a video statement requesting public assistance in finding the killer.

“I can’t believe it’s a million dollars but Toyah deserves it. She deserves everything,” Gardiner said.

The father said it was “the least he deserved” to bring the murderer to justice.

“At least this person should be removed from society and held accountable for his crimes,” said the father.

Australia applied to India for Singh’s extradition in March last year, but was not found.

Australia’s Attorney General’s Office did not immediately respond when asked on Thursday how many people have been extradited between the two countries since a bilateral agreement went into effect in 2010.

Australia has been seeking the extradition of 33-year-old Indian citizen Puneet Puneet for 13 years, who in 2008 drove drunk and speeding in Melbourne’s city centre.

Puneet pleaded guilty to driving in 2009 and fled to India months later, using an Indian friend’s passport before being convicted. Puneet was arrested on her wedding day four years later, but continued to struggle with extradition proceedings.

In 2014, Australia extradited Indian national Jasaran Singh Kalsi to India to stand trial for murder. Kalsi flew to Australia on a student visa in 2012, a day after a Burundian student was fatally injured in a brawl in Jalandhar, in the northern state of Punjab.

In 2005, before the extradition deal was concluded, Australia extradited Australian national Werner Wulf Ingo to India on charges of being part of an international pedophile gang targeting children in the resort town of Goa.

Ingo was sentenced to 10 years in Goa in 2007.

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