Asias El Chapo crony arrested over trafficking after decade on wanted list

The alleged right hand man of 'Asia's El Chapo' has been arrested on drug trafficking charges after spending over a decade on Australia's most wanted list

Chung Chak Lee, 66, was extradited to Australia from Thailand on Saturday for his alleged role in The Company, a $23-billion-a-year drug running empire.

Lee is understood to be second only to Chi Lop Tse, known as Asia's El Chapo, Mail Online reported.

The Company is believed to be responsible for up to 70 per cent of Australia's meth from Asia, the same title stated.

Australian police spent more than a decade hunting for Lee, who was sixth on Australia's most wanted list.

He was arrested in Bangkok in October 2020 and spent 18 months in a Thai prison before he was extradited to Melbourne on a Singapore Airlines flight last week.

The 66-year-old arrived in Australia wearing designer gear and shades and appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday afternoon, charged with one count of trafficking a commercial quantity of drugs.

His legal aid lawyer declared a conflict on interest, so the case was delayed to ensure Lee could seek adequate representation.

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"This is a significant milestone after years of persistent investigative work by the AFP and our partners," Krissy Barrett, Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner for Southern Command, told the Daily Telegraph.

"We will allege the man is a senior criminal associate of the head of a prolific transnational organised crime syndicate involved in trafficking commercial quantities of border controlled drugs within Australia and around the world.

"The Australian Federal Police has an international network of partners that are committed to pursuing offenders and bringing them to justice.

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"If you commit an offence, there is nowhere to hide. The AFP has the means and the patience to track you down."

Lee is believed to be a close associate of one of the world's biggest meth traffickers – and number one target of the Australian Federal Police – Tse Chi Lop.

The Chinese-born Canadian national is now facing extradition to Australia, where he could face trial on charges of drug trafficking.

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