Asia’s “El Chapo” is set to be extradited to Australia from the Netherlands in just a few weeks. The top dog of one of Asia’s largest drug trafficking syndicates is now brought to justice after a decadelong manhunt across the Asia-Pacific region. Tse Chi Lop, a Chinese-born Canadian, was arrested last year in the Netherlands at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport while in transit on a flight from Taiwan to Canada. Tse was listed on an international warrant from the Australian Federal Police (AFP). 

The drug syndicate leader appealed the extradition in Dutch courts, claiming that authorities engineered his arrest. However, his plea would be overruled. Reports from Nikkei Asia said Tse’s lawyer, Andre Seebregts told them that his client will be extradited shortly to Australia in just a matter of weeks. The Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security did not respond to a request for comment but Seebregts said final approval for extradition had been issued by the government. Another source that was familiar with Tse’s investigation said his extradition was something to be expected. 

Sam Gor syndicate or The Company were some of the names of Tse’s drug trafficking operations which operated on a global scale. Based on regional law enforcers and documents, the operation saw the production of crystal methamphetamine on an industrial scale in Myanmar's Shan State, which is said to be the center of Southeast Asia's notorious Golden Triangle drug-producing region. Tse’s narcotics were being sold across North and Southeast Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand. 

Tse is also wanted in Australia for his connection to Operation Volante, which dismantled another global crime syndicate that operated in five countries. Reports from the AFP said around 27 people were arrested for importing and trafficking large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine into Australia in 2013.  Police said at the time of the operation, they had seized over 42 kilograms of narcotics along with $4 million in cash

Jeremy Douglas, South-East Asia and Pacific representative for the UN drugs agency UNODC, said in 2019, that Tse was on par with “El Chapo” or Pablo Escobar when comparing his notoriety. However, Tse Chi Lop continues to deny that he is a drug kingpin.

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