Asia’s most powerful drug lord arrested

Dhe police in Amsterdam made an unusually large catch. She arrested Chinese-born Canadian Tse Chi Lop. The 57-year-old Tse is considered to be the most powerful drug boss in Asia and is believed to rule a worldwide syndicate called “The Company”, which generates billions in sales of synthetic and other drugs every year. Tse was arrested on Friday at Schiphol International Airport, where he stopped on the way to Canada. He had been successfully underground for years. The police in Australia had been looking for him with an international arrest warrant since 2019. Because of his power, Tse is compared to South American drug lords like “El Chapo” and Pablo Escobar. “It cannot be overstated how significant Tse’s arrest is. It is important and has been expected for a long time, “said Jeremy Douglas, UN Drugs Agency representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, CNN.

The Australian police had reported the arrest of a Canadian citizen in Amsterdam on Sunday. She announced that she would apply for the Canadian’s extradition together with the prosecutor. According to the Australian press, the police had been tracking Tse and his network for more than ten years. According to the Reuters agency, a total of 20 authorities worldwide were involved in the investigation. “He was already on the list of the most wanted,” said a spokesman for the Dutch police. The syndicate operates worldwide, but mainly supplies customers in the Asia-Pacific region between Japan and New Zealand. Most of the goods come from drug factories in the “Golden Triangle”, the Southeast Asian triangle between Burma, Laos and Thailand. One of the known methods of the cartel is to hide the drugs in bags for green Chinese tea.

He let himself be protected by Thai boxers

The Australian police had apparently received initial evidence of the drug cartel since 2008. The trail deepened when a Taiwanese drug courier was arrested in 2016 in Rangoon, Burma’s economic center. According to press reports, the syndicate’s income was between eight and 17.7 billion dollars in 2018 alone. Drug boss Tse Chi Lop led a corresponding lifestyle. According to a Reuters report, he was protected by a group of Thai boxers and was mostly traveling in his own private planes. In a casino in Macau, he is said to have gambled away more than 60 million euros in just one night. He had been in prison for some time since the late 1990s. After his release, he went straight back to the drug business.

Although he was apparently the head of the network, Tse is also called “Sam Gor” in his native Cantonese, which means something like “brother number three”. The syndicate also has one of its names. As it is said, it was once formed as an amalgamation of several so-called triads. To this day it functions according to a principle similar to that of these gangs, which mainly operate in the Chinese-influenced cultural area of ​​Asia. Australia has a particular interest in the cartel, as around 70 percent of the methamphetamines business there will be handled by the “company”. These synthetic drugs are playing an increasingly important role in the region. Most of them come from the laboratories in the Golden Triangle. There, synthetic drugs have partially replaced the heroin and opium business.

In Asia, the synthetic drugs are mainly consumed as “yaba”, “crazy pills” made from a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine. The total drug business in the Asia-Pacific region is estimated at $ 70 billion. It is estimated that “The Company” controls 40 to 70 percent of the market. A main production area is in the thickly overgrown hills in the Burmese state of Shan. The authorities there had made one of the largest discoveries of synthetic drugs in the past year. In the border areas there, which are under the control of rebel armies, militias and warlords, the state has hardly any access. The arrest of Tses will not change anything in these circumstances. “While it is important that the leadership of the Syndicate be removed, the conditions that they have used so effectively for their business will not be affected and the network will remain,” warned UN official Jeremy Douglas.


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