Alleged drug kingpin Tse Chi Lop, who the media has called the Asian “El Chapo,” is contesting extradition from the Netherlands to Australia.
Wanted in Australia: The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has accused Tse of being “the senior leader of the Sam Gor syndicate,” which allegedly imported and distributed illicit narcotics in Australia for years, reported ABC/Reuters. The AFP, which led an international counter-narcotics investigation targeting the group, issued an arrest warrant for Tse in 2019.
- A 2019 Reuters report compared Tse to notorious drug lords Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Pablo Escobar for his alleged involvement with Sam Gor.
- Since January 2015, Tse’s group has “been connected with or directly involved in at least 13 cases” of drug trafficking.
- Tse was arrested in January at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands during a stopover while traveling from Taiwan to Canada, NextShark previously reported.
- Tse has since denied any wrongdoing and is now fighting the extradition that the AFP is preparing.
Tse’s trial: During the hearing in Rotterdam on Tuesday, Tse’s lawyer Andre Seebregts asked judges to investigate the circumstances of the arrest, arguing that Dutch extradition policies give more advantage to Australian law enforcement.
- Seebregts accused the Australian government of orchestrating Tse’s arrest and expressed doubt that Tse would not get a fair trial in Australia.
- Tse echoed the sentiment, saying he fears that Australian judges would be biased against him.
- “Mass media are calling me a drug kingpin, but that is not true,” Tse reportedly told the judges through interpreters.
- The court will rule on July 2 to act on the extradition request or order additional investigations on the matter.
Featured Image via Myanmar Police from CTV News