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Alleged Asian drug lord on world’s most-wanted list arrested in Amsterdam

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The alleged leader of an Asian drug syndicate and one of the world’s most-wanted fugitives has been arrested by Dutch police.

Tse Chi Lop, a Chinese-born Canadian national, was arrested at the request of Australian police, who led an investigation that found his organisation dominates the $70bn-a-year Asian-Pacific drug trade.

Dutch police spokesman Thomas Aling said Tse was detained without incident at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Saturday night, 23 January, based on intelligence they received.

“He was already on the most wanted list and he was detained based on intelligence we received, Aling said.

He is expected to be extradited to Australia after an initial court appearance.

Tse, 57, has lived in Canada, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan in recent years, according to authorities.

According to Australian newspaper The Age, his arrest will also be welcomed by authorities in the US, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and across Europe, places which have all served as markets or supply hubs for his organisation.

The syndicate he allegedly helps control is an amalgam of once-competing Chinese Triad groups that have variously worked with Australian bikies, South American cartels and European crime bosses.

Australian Federal Police say he is the senior leader of the syndicate called ‘The Company’ and is referred to as ‘Sam Gor’ (brother number three in Cantonese).

In 2019, Jeremy Douglas, Southeast Asia and Pacific representative for the United Nations office on drugs and crime (UNODC), said that Tse is in the league of fellow drug kingpins El Chapo or maybe Pablo Escobar.

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.

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