Dutch police detain alleged Asian drug syndicate kingpin
AMSTERDAM (NETHERLANDS) – Dutch police said on Saturday they had arrested the alleged leader of a Asian drug syndicate which figures among one of the world’s most-wanted fugitives and gets a mention with the likes of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Tse Chi Lop, a Chinese-born Canadian national, was detained on Friday on Australian police’s request, under whose investigation it was found that his organisation is the reigning force behind the $70 billion-a-year Asia-Pacific drug trade, Dutch police spokesman Thomas Aling said.
Aling said that Tse is likely to be extradited after appearing before a judge. It was also added that his arrest by national police happened with no incident at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Aling said, “He was already on the most-wanted list and he was detained based on intelligence we received.”
Dutch police could not provide details about the legal proceedings and it was not clear as whether Tse had a lawyer.
According to counter-narcotics officers from four countries and documents Tse, 57, an ex-convict who formerly lived in Toronto, has moved between Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the last few years,
The group has “been connected with or directly involved in at least 13 cases” of drug trafficking since January 2015, as per the documents.
The syndicate he is suspected of heading is known among his 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.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP), which has been on the forefront of the criminal organisation, said on Sunday it has issued an arrest warrant for him in 2019, “in connection with AFP-led Operation Volante, which dismantled a global crime syndicate operating in five 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.”