Dutch police detain alleged Asian drug syndicate kingpin
AMSTERDAM/SYDNEY (NETHERLANDS/AUSTRALIA) – Dutch police have arrested the alleged leader of a large Asian drug syndicate, listed as one of the world’s most-wanted fugitives and has been compared to Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Tse Chi Lop is expected to be extradited after appearing before a judge, Aling said, It was also adding that his arrest by national police happened without incident at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
“He was already on the most-wanted list and he was detained based on intelligence we received,” Aling said.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and CrimeTse’s crime syndicate has allegedly been dominating the Asia-Pacific crystal methamphetamine trade, which rose fourfold in the five years to 2019, .
Regional law enforcers say the syndicate has imported meth, considered highly potent, to countries such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, as well as trafficking heroin and MDMA.
The UNODC estimated that Tse’s drug syndicate earned as much as $17 billion in 2018.
The syndicate he is suspected of running is known to its members as “The Company”. Law enforcers also refer to it as “Sam Gor” – or Brother Number Three in Cantonese – after one of Tse’s nicknames, Reuters reported at the time. Reuters was unable to contact Tse for comment on the report at that time.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said on Sunday it issued an arrest warrant for Tse in 2019, “in connection with AFP-led Operation Volante, which dismantled a global crime syndicate operating in five countries.”
The AFP also led an international investigation, tagged Operation Kungur, into Tse and his syndicate, which included about 20 agencies from more than a dozen countries.
“The syndicate targeted Australia over a number of years, importing and distributing large amounts of illicit narcotics, laundering the profits overseas and living off the wealth obtained from crime,” the AFP added.
The UNODC’s Douglas hailed the arrest as a “great result”, however cautioned that it may not have its consequence on drug trafficking in the region.
Douglas said, “They got their man. Kudos to the Australian Federal Police. But the organisation remains, the demand for synthetic drugs has been built, and someone will step in to replace Tse”.
“It is hard to see his arrest having much of an impact on drug trafficking beyond the near-term if the poor governance, corruption and easily available drug precursors in the region remain unaddressed.”