On Friday, the chief of an alleged Asian drug union comparable to Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was reportedly detained.
Dutch police say Tse Chi Lop, a Canadian national born in China, operates an Asian drug syndicate worth $70 billion a year.
Investigation chief Thomas Ailing said that after his detention at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Lop is likely to be extradited to Asia.
Lop was “already on the most-wanted list” and was “detained based on intelligence” they had got, Detective Ailing said.
Whether Lop, an ex-convict, has a lawyer is not clear, but Mr. Ailing said he appeared early on Saturday before a judge.
In recent years, Lop, of Toronto, Canada, has moved between Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan in an alleged attempt to evade authorities.
His reported drug syndicate is supposedly known as “The Company” and, after one of Tse’s nicknames, Reuters says, is referred to as “Sam Gor” – or Brother Number Three in Cantonese.
The Australian Federal Police took the lead last year in locating Lop, who it says is “the senior leader of the Sam Gor syndicate.”
Jeremy Douglas, representative of Southeast Asia and the Pacific for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told Reuters in 2019 that Lop is “in the El Chapo or Pablo Escobar League.”
He said: “The word “kingpin” is often thrown around, but there is no doubt that it applies here.”
“Tse Chi Lop is in the league of El Chapo or maybe Pablo Escobar.”
Since January 2015, the organization has been linked with or directly involved in at least 13 drug trafficking incidents, documents seen by Reuters have revealed.