tirsdag 7. september 2021

Demise of a kingpin, rise of an empire

When FBI agent Mark Calnan finally met the kingpin whose drug syndicate he'd been investigating for the past six years, he was surprised. With his black hair parted down the middle and modest fashion sense, Tse Chi Lop didn't look like the head of a multinational operation that had flooded the streets of New York with heroin before his arrest on August 12, 1998.

And, as he sat in a spartan interrogation room in Hong Kong, he didn't really behave like one, either.
Suspects usually reacted to arrest in one of two ways, the now-retired agent told CNN from his home in New Jersey. Combative types embraced the machismo that helped them navigate the cutthroat world of drug dealing. Cooperative ones worried that not talking meant longer prison time. Tse didn't do either. He was calm, friendly and strategically tight-lipped -- even when Calnan told him the United States would be requesting his extradition.

Tse just smiled.

"He was impressive," said Calnan. "He was different."