Queensland police seek Cordingley suspect’s extradition from Victoria

Rajwinder Singh is being extradited from India to Australia over the murder of Toyah Cordingley, 24.

Rajwinder Singh is being extradited from India to Australia over the murder of Toyah Cordingley, 24. Photo: AAP

The man suspected of murdering Queensland woman Toyah Cordingley is set to face an extradition hearing in Melbourne after a “determined” and “meticulous” four-year police investigation led to his extradition from India.

Rajwinder Singh is at Melbourne Magistrates Court where Queensland police are applying to extradite him north on Wednesday to be questioned over Ms Cordingley’s murder four years ago.

The 24-year-old woman’s body was found in sand dunes after she took her dog for a walk on Wangetti Beach, north of Cairns, in October 2018.

Mr Singh touched down at Melbourne Airport with a police escort on a Qantas flight from New Delhi about 12.40pm on Wednesday before being whisked away to the court.

Detective Inspector Sonia Smith said the 38-year-old’s extradition is the culmination of a “determined” and “meticulous” effort to bring justice for Ms Cordingley and her family by police.

“We have been determined to find answers for Toyah’s family and the work of all involved has been meticulous since that terrible day in October 2018,” she said in a statement.

“It has been a long journey, including the announcement of the reward for information, $1 million – the largest in Queensland’s history, back in November last year.

“Our thoughts, and I know those of the tight-knit community of Cairns have always been and will continue to be with Toyah’s family.”

Mr Singh, a local nurse and an Australian citizen, boarded a flight to India hours after Ms Cordingley’s body was found in 2018, leaving his wife and three children behind at their Innisfail home.

Then federal assistant minister to Attorney-General Amanda Stoker issued an arrest warrant to Indian authorities for an unnamed suspect in the case in May 2021.

The Queensland government then offered a record $1 million reward for information leading to Mr Singh’s capture in November 2022 with three police flying to India to follow up on any leads.

Mr Singh was then arrested by Indian police in New Delhi about one month later before an Indian magistrate ordered his extradition to Australia.

“Together with other Australian agencies we have continued to work closely and respectfully with Indian authorities to pursue justice for Toyah and her family,” Det Insp Smith added.

“The relationship the QPS has with Australian and other law enforcement agencies again demonstrates the importance of partnerships internationally.”

Det Insp Smith said the $1 million reward hasn’t been issued yet, but it will be “fully considered” following due diligence.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was thankful a police investigation had led to Mr Singh’s extradition and a chance for justice.

“It has been phenomenal to track this person down in India and to do the extradition here,” she told reporters in Rockhampton.

“And hopefully it will give Toyah’s family a sense of comfort to know that the police did everything within their means for justice.”


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