'Drug lord who ran $70billion empire across Asia’ and compared to El Chapo is arrested in Amsterdam

AN alleged drug lord suspected of running a "$70billion empire across Asia" and compared to El Chapo has been arrested in Amsterdam.

Tse Chi Lop, a Chinese-born Canadian national was listed as one of the world's most-wanted fugitives and is accused of heading up a gigantic drug trafficking syndicate in the Asia-Pacific.



He was detained on Friday at the request of Australian police, whose investigation busted the $70 billion-a-year (£50billion) Asia-Pacific drug trade, Dutch police spokesman Thomas Aling said.

The gang, known as "The Company" or "Sam Gor" made $8bn (£6.3bn) and $17.7bn (£13.9bn) from meth alone last year, reported Reuters.

By some investigators, Tse has been compared to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the Mexican drug lord who was jailed for life plus 30 years.

Jeremy Douglas, from the United Nations Office said: "Tse Chi Lop is in the league of El Chapo or maybe Pablo Escobar.

"The word kingpin often gets thrown around, but it applies here."

Pablo Escobar, who was known as "The King of Cocaine" was one of Latin America's most notorious drug lords.

He was gunned down by police in 1993 when he was 44.

"The word kingpin often gets thrown around, but it applies here.

Tse is expected to be extradited after appearing before a judge, Aling said, adding that his arrest by national police took place without incident at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

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

Dutch police were unable to provide details about the legal proceedings and it was not clear if Tse had a lawyer.

Tse, an ex-convict who formerly lived in Toronto, has moved between Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan in recent years, according to counter-narcotics officers from four countries and documents previously reviewed by Reuters.

Court records showed that he faced drug trafficking charges in New York in 1998.

He was found guilty of conspiracy to import heroin into the US and could have faced a life sentence, but he got away with a nine-year term after he claimed his parents needed care and his 12-year-old son had a lung disorder.

He was freed in 2006 and returned to Canada and it is believed he quickly returned to the drug business.

It was unable to contact Tse for comment on the report.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP), which has taken the lead in a sprawling investigation into the criminal organisation, identified Tse as "the senior leader of the Sam Gor syndicate".

The group has "been connected with or directly involved in at least 13 cases" of drug trafficking since January 2015, the documents showed.

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