Australia

Man arrested in India over death of Australian Toyah Cordingley

Highlights
  • Police arrested a man in India in connection to the death of Toyah Cordingley in Queensland in 2018.
  • The arrest comes after a $1 million reward was offered by Queensland authorities earlier this month.
  • Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says the extradition process to Australia is expected to go smoothly.
In a country of more than one billion people, Indian police have arrested a man wanted in connection to the death of Toyah Cordingley in north Queensland more than four years ago.
The 24-year-old pharmacy worker and animal shelter volunteer was found dead on Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, after taking her dog for a walk on October 21, 2018.
Police believe Rajwinder Singh has been avoiding apprehension in the Punjab region since travelling to India on October 23, 2018.
His arrest on Friday follows an extradition request by Australia in 2021 and a $1 million reward offered by Queensland authorities earlier this month.

The former Innisfail nurse is expected to face court in India “very shortly” and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll is hopeful of a smooth extradition process to Australia.

“The relationship working with the local Indian police on this has been exceptional, we’ve worked with them and the Australian Federal Police for an extended period of time,” she said.
“It has been … one of the most intense, comprehensive, across the world investigations over many years now.”

QPS officers travelled to India between 27 October and 8 November to share information with local police.

It is unclear if the reward will be collected, but Ms Carroll says she’ll “happily write out that cheque myself” if the required processes have been followed.

The AFP fugitive apprehension strike team and AFP New Delhi have been assisting QPS in the search and arrest of the murder suspect.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the death of Toyah Cordingley shocked people in Queensland when it happened in October 2018. Source: Supplied / Queensland Police

Ms Cordingley’s death had shocked and outraged people in Queensland, Ms Carroll said.

“She was a beautiful, much loved person, just innocently going about her day,” she said.
“I am so pleased we can now make further progress in bringing closure to her family.
“It was never a question of if, only when this day would come.”
The matter is a high priority for the Australian government, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said on Friday.

“Australian agencies continue to work closely with Indian authorities to pursue Mr Singh’s extradition to Australia, to enable him to face justice,” he said.

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