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Man accused of running one of the world's biggest drug cartels arrested in Amsterdam

January 24, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 50.5%. 2 min read.

Methamphetamine pills known locally as ya ba is displayed as some of 25 tons of narcotics confiscated from court cases were to be incinerated to mark the United Nations' "International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking" at the Bang Pa-In industrial estate in Ayutthaya on June 26, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP) (Photo by LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP via Getty Images)

A Chinese-born alleged drug kingpin accused of presiding over a multi-billion dollar narcotics operation has been arrested by Dutch authorities.

(CNN)A Chinese-born alleged drug kingpin accused of presiding over a multi-billion dollar narcotics operation has been arrested by Dutch authorities.

Authorities allege that Tse, 57, is the leader of the Sam Gor Syndicate, arguably the biggest drug-trafficking operation in Asia's history.

It's big and (has) been a long time coming," said Jeremy Douglas, the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

Asia's methamphetamine trade is believed to be worth between $30 billion and $61 billion a year, and Sam Gor, which is sometimes simply referred to as "the Company," is allegedly its biggest player.

The organization is accused of running a synthetic drug manufacturing empire in large swathes of the under-policed jungles of Myanmar, a region marred by civil war and still under the control of various competing warlords and militias -- conditions that make it easy to hide industrial-scale drug manufacturing operations from law enforcement.

From there, Sam Gor has allegedly been able to procure large amounts of precursor chemicals, the ingredients to make synthetic drugs, and then move them across the region to nearby markets in Bangkok, but also to farther-flung ones in Australia and Japan, law enforcement said.

Sam Gor allegedly had operatives working throughout the globe, with players in South Korea, England, Canada and the United States, according to a briefing on the syndicate shared with CNN by an official with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Further police investigations revealed that the organization was, as of 2018, earning between $8 billion and $17. 7 billion worth of illicit proceeds a year, according to the briefing.

AFP said a warrant was issued for Tse's arrest in 2019 in connection with an operation targeting Sam Gor.

Tse allegedly ran his multibillion dollar operation from Hong Kong, Macao and southeast Asia.

While Douglas of the UNODC praised Tse's arrest, he said more needed to be done to ensure drug lords cannot take advantage of poor government oversight of the areas in Myanmar and Laos.

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