Monday, November 1, 2021

Tse Chi Lop - World's largest drug trafficker

Newspapers describe Tse Chi Lop, 57, as Asia’s El Chapo. That isn't a fair comparison, he's far bigger than that. Tse Chi Lop is a Chinese-born Canadian and the leader of a multi-billion dollar drug syndicate, The Company. Tse is billed as the most important drug importer to be nabbed in two decades. His arrest in Amsterdam in January 2021 was a collaborative effort of more than 20 countries. Tse ran a drug syndicate known as 'Sam Gor,' Cantonese for 'Third Brother' The UN estimates Sam Gor’s annual revenue could be as high as $21 billion.
The crime group employs top chemists who manufacture illegal synthetic drugs like fentanyl, meth, ecstasy and ketamine around the world. Tse Chi Lop was born in Guangzhou in 1963 and immigrated in 1988 to Toronto, where he was part of the Big Circle Boys. Toronto taught Tse his business. The seeds for what would become the world’s largest drug empire were planted during his days surviving the heroin glut in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He was jailed in the U.S. from 1997 to 2006 for heroin trafficking after being arrested with senior members of the Rizzuto family, including Emanuel Raguso. By 2011, Tse and his family had left Toronto and moved to Hong Kong.
Around this time he teamed up with Chung Chak “John” Lee to form the meth syndicate that would become Sam Gor. Their major innovation was guaranteed delivery. If a dealer paid for the drugs, he’d receive them. If they were seized, Sam Gor would replace them at no cost. Guaranteed delivery was possible because production costs were negligible. This was the idea on which Tse built an empire. Synthetic drugs are cheap to produce. It takes thousands of farmers to generate a tonne of heroin. It takes a few workers in a lab to make a tonne of meth.

Chung Chak “John” Lee
The materials to make meth, pseudoephedrine, anhydrous ammonia and red phosphorus, are cheap, less than $1,000 a tonne in some cases, and widely available in Asia. A kilo of meth would cost dealers in Myanmar $4k. It would then sell for $200k in the streets of Australia. By the late 2010s, Sam Gor accounted for 70% of Australian meth. Australians spent $8.5 billion on 11.5 tonnes of meth, two-thirds of it cooked in the Golden Triangle. The total number of users in Australia tripled between 2012 and 2017. Sam Gor controlled between 40% and 70% of the $90-billion Asian market, dominating the trade in the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. In 2019, after a huge bust, the Australian police posted an international warrant for Tse’s arrest with Interpol.
Tse got on a flight back to Canada, but a stopover in Amsterdam sunk him. The moment he stepped off the plane at Schiphol airport, he was arrested. Tse is in prison in Amsterdam, fighting extradition to Australia. Discovery is launching a documentary “The World’s Biggest Druglord – Tse Chi Lop” on November 14.