Alleged ‘Asian El Chapo’ extradited to Australia
The alleged head of a global drug trafficking syndicate, dubbed the El Chapo of Asia, will face court in Melbourne today.
59-year-old Chinese-born Canadian man, Tse Chi Lop, was extradited from the Netherlands this morning after a decade-long AFP investigation into the Sam Gor international crime syndicate.
Police intelligence sources estimate the syndicate has allegedly been responsible for up to 70 per cent of all narcotics entering Australia.
He will today face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on allegations he was part of a conspiracy to traffic 20 kilograms of methamphetamine, which would be worth up to $4.4 million in today’s prices, for 12 months from March 2012.
The alleged drug kingpin will face a charge of conspiracy to traffic commercial quantities of controlled drugs, which has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
His alleged accomplice was also charged in June of this year after being extradited from Thailand.
The men are accused of conspiring with junior members working for the syndicate in Australia to transport illicit drugs between Sydney and Melbourne.
Federal police also allege the syndicate used money laundering remitters offshore and in Australia, including unlawfully using a bank account in the name of an Australian casino, to pay for the drugs.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Krissy Barrett praised the hard work of investigators that led to the alleged offenders being charged.
“To bring alleged offenders before the courts requires patience, dedication and evidence,” she said.