Australian police offer 3,000 reward for Indian suspect

Australian police offer $633,000 reward for Indian suspect

Australian police offer $633,000 reward for Indian suspect

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australian police on Thursday offered a 1 million Australian dollar ($633,000) reward for information on the whereabouts of an Indian national suspected of murdering a woman on a tropical beach four years ago before returning home.

Queensland State Police officers, who speak Hindi and Punjabi, are waiting at the Cairns office to make contact from India via WhatsApp or online about where Rajwinder Singh, 38, can be found, Detective Inspector Sonia Smith said.

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

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

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

The reward is the largest in Queensland history and is unique in that it does not seek a lead that leads to the discovery of the crime and a successful prosecution. Instead, the money is only offered for information on the suspect’s location and arrest.

Police Minister Mark Ryan confirmed the reward and said he was confident people knew where to find Singh.

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

“There are now millions of causes for billions of eyes around the world to help us bring justice for Toyah,” he added.

Deputy Chief of Police Tracy Lindford said detectives believed Singh had remained in India. He called on witnesses in India’s 1.4 billion population to come forward and “give some comfort to the family that misses Toyah.”

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

The victim’s parents, Troy Cordingley and Vanessa Gardiner, released a video message asking for the public’s help in finding her killer.

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

The father said bringing the killer to justice was “the least he deserved”.

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

Australia had appealed to India to extradite Singh in March last year, but could not find him.

Australia’s attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a question on how many people had been extradited on Thursday since the 2010 bilateral treaty between the two countries came into force.

Australia has spent 13 years pursuing the extradition of Indian national Puneet Puneet, 33, who was driving drunk and speeding in central Melbourne in 2008 when he hit and killed a pedestrian and injured another person.

Puneet pleaded guilty to driving offenses in 2009, then fled to India months later using an Indian boyfriend’s passport before being sentenced. Puneet was arrested on her wedding day four years later, but continued to fight extradition proceedings.

Australia extradited Indian national Jaskaran Singh Kalsi to India on murder charges in 2014. Kalsi traveled to Australia on a student visa in 2012 after a Burundian student was fatally injured in a brawl in Jalandhar, Punjab.

In 2005, before the extradition treaty existed, Australia extradited Australian citizen Werner Wolf Ingo to India, accusing him of being part of an international child abuse network targeting children in the resort state of Goa.

Ingo was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2007.



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