CANBERRA, Australia — A key suspect in the murder of a woman on an Australian beach four years ago has been arrested in New Delhi, three weeks after being targeted with an A$1 million ($677,000) reward, Australian officials said on Friday.
Indian national Rajwinder Singh, 38, flew home from Sydney the day after the body of 24-year-old Australian Toyah Cordingley was found on the coast of Queensland on October 22, 2018.
Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said Singh was arrested on Friday after Australia requested his extradition to India.
“This matter is a high priority for the Australian government and Australian agencies continue to work closely with Indian authorities to pursue Mr. Singh’s extradition to Australia and to seek justice,” Dreyfus said.
Dreyfus said it was not appropriate for him to comment further as the matter was before the Indian courts.
Australia had requested Singh’s extradition for the murder in March last year, but he could not be found.
On November 3, the Queensland government offered the largest reward in the state’s history for information about Singh.
The award was unique in that it did not seek a tip that solved a crime and led to a successful prosecution. Instead, money is only offered for information leading to the location and arrest of a suspect.
The Australian Federal Police said in a statement that Indian police arrested Singh the same day they received information about his whereabouts.
It is unclear whether the reward will be collected.
Australian police said Singh was “believed to be on the run from custody in India’s Punjab region since traveling to the country” in 2018.
Queensland police officers traveled to India in late October and early November to work with the Australian Federal Police stationed in New Delhi to share information about Singh with Indian law enforcement.
Singh was working as a nurse in Innisfail, south of the Cairns metropolis, when Cordingley was killed at Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns. October 21, 2018. He had gone to the beach to walk his dog.
The Indian embassy in Australia could not immediately comment on the matter.