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Asia’s biggest drug kingpin arrested in Netherlands

Tanutam Thawan



PHOTO: Sky News

Asia’s biggest drug kingpin is under arrest in the Netherlands after years of authorities chasing him worldwide. 57 year old Tse Chi Lop, a Chinese-born Canadian citizen, was arrested by Dutch police acting on a request by Australia’s federal police.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime named him as the suspected leader of the Asian mega-cartel known as “Sam Gor”, a major producer and supplier of methamphetamines worldwide. Tse is commonly compared to the Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Sam Gor is suspected of laundering billions in drug money through businesses such as casinos, real estate and hotels in Southeast Asia’s Mekong region. Australia’s federal police said Friday’s arrest came after a 2012 operation that arrested 27 people linked to a crime syndicate spanning five countries. The groups was accused of importing large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine into Australia, according to police.

“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 arrest of Tse Chi Lop almost 10 years after that operation’s launch is a major break for Australian authorities. The country’s attorney-general will now begin preparing a formal extradition request for the alleged drug lord to face trial.

Most of Asia’s meth comes from “Golden Triangle” border areas between Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and southwest China. The production of methamphetamine, either in tablet form or the highly potent crystalised “ice” version, take place in Myanmar’s eastern north Shan state. Ketamine and fentanyl are also produced there as well, mostly in ‘portable’ labs that hide underneath the thick rainforest canopy.

In 2018 alone, Thailand netted more than 515 million methamphetamine tablets, a number 17 times the amount for the entire Mekong region 10 years ago. Traffickers are constantly finding more creative ways to ship their products as drug busts are featured daily on the news in those regions.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    James Pate

    Monday, January 25, 2021 at 7:14 am

    OK, I get it. His drug empire is huge. However, I don’t see any of the bravado of El Chapo or Escobar. This guy was incredibly quiet and discreet, something he learned from the old time Italian-American Mafia dons. How he kept his Canadian passport after doing 10 years in a US prison and travelled without impediment in the time of Covid is a mystery to me. I think his downfall has more to do with hubris and a momentary lapse in judgement than diligent police work. We may never really know.

  2. Avatar


    Monday, January 25, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Its called “Competition Elimination”.

    Note: now that there are very few people travelling yet the price of heroine remains stable??

    Its the Deep State that runs the multi-trillion dollar drug business through elements of their militaries.

  3. Avatar


    Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    He was arrested in transit at the airport, so not hiding in the Netherlands.

  4. Avatar

    John loves me really

    Friday, January 29, 2021 at 7:07 am

    Thailand has been losing its war on drugs for decades, sadly. That a bunch low-life try hard, thugs could run rings around the Thai Police for so long is very embarrassing for the Thai authorities.

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