Tse Chi Lop is the head of Asia’s largest crime syndicate worth billions of dollars.
The notorious crime boss is among the world’s most wanted fugitives, running an empire across the Asia-Pacific worth $US70 billion annually. Dutch police announced his arrest on request from the Australian police.
The Chinese-born Canadian national is likely to be extradited upon appearing before a judge where he will face charges connecting him with the international drug syndicate - Sam Gor or The Company. His arrest took place without incident on arrival at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
Who is Tse Chi Lop?
Mr. Tse built his reputation as a stable, illicit drug distribution supply network while keeping off the limelight. Many compared his wealth and ambition to that of the notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar or the Mexican kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. However, Mr. Tse’s style and public persona are quite reserved.
As per Australian authorities’ information on his past, Mr. Tse relocated to Canada in the 1980s. He was once charged for smuggling heroin into the United States and only served six years after his lawyer begged for leniency while explaining to the judge at the Eastern District Court of New York that his son was very sick and ailing parents needed care. He even promised to open a restaurant and turn over a new leaf with his life.
Upon release, he quickly found his way back into drugs eventually becoming an instrumental player in the heroin and methamphetamine world deemed as the Golden Triangle and spans across Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar.
The United Nations estimates that The Company rakes in $17 billion from the drug trade across New Zealand, Japan, and several other countries. Despite being wanted by most Asia Pacific countries, Australia has invested a great deal of time and effort in tracking down Mr. Tse as his syndicate accounts for 70 percent of the illegal drugs that reach the Australian shores.
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After Australian authorities seized tonnes worth of heroin during the 2017-18 period, the Federal Police started building a case against Mr.Tse relying on informants and surveillance. They built a persona of a disciplined kingpin fond of wearing khakis and loved to gamble in Macau. In 2019, Australia issued a warrant for his arrest, disrupting several parts of his operations that span across five countries.
Australia’s meth crisis
Methamphetamine has had an adverse effect on rural Australia, ravaging the youth and creating depressed meth-ridden rural communities. Australia has the highest number meth users in the English-speaking world. A 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey revealed 1.3 million Australians (7% of the population) have used meth before. Meth is a big threat to Australia’s youth, as it remains far more socially damaging than cocaine, heroin, or other illegal drugs.