The alleged kingpin of a global drug trafficking syndicate has been extradited to face a Melbourne court in what federal police have described as one of the most significant arrests in their history.
The Australian Federal Police has charged Canadian national Tse Chi Lop after a decade-long investigation into transnational organised crime syndicate Sam Gor, also known as The Company.
The 59-year-old will face Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, with police alleging he was part of a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, or derivatives of the drug, totalling 20kg between March 2012 and March 2013.
The maximum penalty for slot pulsa thailand conspiring to traffic commercial quantities of controlled drugs is life in prison.
The drugs have a street value of up to $4.4 million dollars and were split up into separate quantities, police allege.
The investigation involved the force’s transnational offshore disruption taskforce, Operation Gain, as well as its international network.
Tse was arrested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on January 22 last year by Dutch officers after the AFP requested an INTERPOL “red notice” for his provisional arrest.He was extradited to Australia from the Netherlands on Thursday.
Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Krissy Barrett described Tse’s arrest as “extremely significant” not only for the force but for the Australian community.
“It would be one of the most significant arrests in the history of the (force),” she told reporters.
The Australian Federal Police in June this year also charged a Chinese-British dual national, 66-year-old Chung Chak Lee, with conspiring to traffic commercial quantities of drugs.
It’s alleged the 66-year-old is Tse’s co-offender and the pair conspired with junior Australian-based members to transport drugs between Sydney and Melbourne.
Eight others have been arrested over the matter but Assistant Commissioner Barrett said it would be “foolish” to think the entire operation had been shut down.
She said Tse’s arrest was particularly significant because alleged senior members of syndicates were typically “hands off” in their business dealings.
It’s alleged the syndicate paid for the drugs by posing as an Australian casino, illegally using its name on a bank account.
“These transnational organised crime syndicates use multiple methods to launder their money,” Assistant Commissioner Barrett said.
“It’s a huge part of their business model, it’s not just getting the drugs into the country, it’s then being able to recycle the proceeds from those drugs so that they can reinvest in future ventures.”