30 Jul, 06:54AM in sunny Singapore!
Home Aunt Agony

Price of a high life

Subscribe to Price of a high life 29 posts

Please Login or Signup to reply.
  • PoRen's Avatar
    700 posts since Sep '04

    • Price of a high life
      Roland Tan: From a Singapore kampung to Europe’s underworld


      Ansley Ng


      [email protected]


      EMBROILED in extortion and fights from an early age, he was wanted in connection with the alleged murder of a rival gang member in 1969.
      .
      But before detectives could bring him in, 20-year-old Roland Tan Tong Meng — with the help of the See Tong gang — fled to Amsterdam, then known for its liberal laws. Along with him went several men from his Serangoon kampung, a close-knit community of Hainanese migrants including hardened fugitives and sailors.
      .
      Once in Holland, triad legend has it, Mr Tan and his brethren, who had very little money with them, saw how members of Hong Kong’s infamous 14K gang were doing a thriving drug trade in the capital city. They plotted to take it over.
      .
      After buying pistols, the 10 or so immigrants from Singapore applied nail polish on their fingertips to avoid leaving prints, then launched their bloody assault. Although outnumbered, according to triad folklore, Mr Tan and his gang violently won control of the Amsterdam underworld.
      .
      That was when Mr Tan, or ‘Ah Kong’, went from small-time gangster to the criminal big-time – involved in processing drugs and moneylending under the See Tong flag, in what was then the world’s centre for heroin distribution.
      .
      His unsavoury past caught up with him on Monday evening, when the 61-year-old was shot in the restaurant that he owned in Copenhagen, Denmark, by one of his Vietnamese ‘runners’. He is in stable condition in hospital.
      .
      A Singaporean friend who was with him, known only by his nickname ‘Ah M’, was shot in the stomach and remains in bad condition, Copenhagen homicide chief Ove Dahl told Today. Family members from Singapore have arrived in the Danish capital to see him.
      .
      .
      SUBHD: Like a well run company
      .
      For years, Mr Tan lived the fast and high life of a ‘dragon head’, in triad parlance. Fond of a good steak and blonde women, according to a former associate who spoke to TODAY, Mr Tan moved to Copenhagen in the 1980s, married a Danish woman and took up citizenship.
      .
      But he missed his Singapore food. Flight attendants who knew the chief and his men would bring him packets of hawker fare from home. “Char kway teow, yong tau foo, laksa. You name it, they will bring it over for him,” said the source, once a member of the Ah Kong gang, which was what See Tong called itself after a name-change in 1989.
      .
      Mr Tan’s men, most of whom were Singaporeans, took their mob life seriously.
      .
      Recruits – who were typically fugitives from the law or gangsters deemed to be promising – were approached and sent to Bangkok, the gang’s “recruitment centre”, where they underwent a selection process and their loyalty, obedience and bravery tested. Those who earned the trust of the elders were sent on to Amsterdam.
      .
      “There was a hierarchy in the gang like in any big company,” said the source. “It was very well run. We took care of each other over there.”
      .
      In Amsterdam, newbies were sent to work in drug laboratories, where they processed the raw material from Myanmar. The finished products were sold on the streets or trafficked out of the city, reaping $150,000 profit per kilogramme. “We easily made 80 to 100 kg in a month.”
      .
      The men were paid a basic monthly salary starting from 2,000 guilders, and had their lodging and food taken care of. All the men, even the lowest ranking, were paid a yearly bonus from a “profit-sharing scheme” with the money from drug deals and loansharking.
      .
      They were also given cars and a petrol allowance – for which they had to produce receipts. “We even had a petty cash system where we took money out to entertain our friends from Singapore,” said the source.
      .
      .
      SUBHD: Armani and arms
      .
      Each year, the men got about 20,000 guilders as “clothing allowance”. Suits from Hugo Boss and Armani were highly recommended, said the source.
      .
      But underneath those suits, everyone was armed. As a rule, the men carried a pistol, passport and plane ticket with them at all times.
      .
      :The gang’s “commandos” or musclemen patrolled the streets daily. They were particularly wary of immigrant troublemakers, who would harrass shopkeepers or sell drugs on their turf at lower prices. The gang would take care of these intruders by “catching them and beating them up”.
      .
      But their guns – usually a snub-nosed .38 Smith and Wesson revolver – were rarely drawn, said the source.
      .
      The triad also had legitimate businesses, operating casinos and restaurants. Over the years, however, internal bickering and takeover threats from rivals saw Mr Tan give up control and move to Copenhagen, where he set up his Restaurant Bali in a tourist square.
      .
      His operations, which by then involved “over a hundred men” and extended to cities like Madrid, Sydney and Phnom Penh, were handed over to lieutenants – many of them fugitives wanted for crimes like murder and armed robbery in Singapore in the 70s.
      .
      .
      SUBHD: A loyal but bad tempered man
      .
      :A fan of gambling, especially chor dai dee (Big 2) and Russian poker, Mr Tan would often reminisce about past “glory days” and, despite having lived in Europe for four decades, did not forget his roots – he preferred speaking Hokkien to his men.
      .
      :The source described his former boss as a “kind and loyal man, but with a bad temper”. “If he has only $10 and you needed the money more than him, he would give it to you,” he said.
      .
      :Since opting for a quieter life in Copenhagen where he ran his restaurant, Mr Tan did not arm himself when going out, thought he kept one or two Vietnamese bodyguards with him.
      .
      :On Monday, one of his boys – quiet 47-year-old Nguyen Phi Hung – got into an argument and shot him. He remains on the run.
      .
      One Singapore law enforcer who remembers Mr Tan is Mr Lionel De Souza, now a private detective. Then with the Criminal Investigation Department, he was one of three local officers on standby to extradite Mr Tan from Copenhagen in 1973.
      .
      But the deal fell through. “Having no grounds to detain Tan Tong Meng further, the Danish police had to release him,” said Mr De Souza, who declined to elaborate.
      .
      Asked if Mr Tan could now be extradited to Singapore to help in investigations, a police spokesman told TODAY: “Singapore Police Force have sent out a request to the Danish police seeking more information on the two persons involved.”

    • The New Paper's news editor details S'pore fight against drugs, including crackdown on '70s drug ring Ah Kong:

      Ruled in Europe, busted in S'pore
      THERE was a time when the Singapore mafia ruled the European underworld.
      By Ng Tze Yong

      21 November 2006
      THERE was a time when the Singapore mafia ruled the European underworld.

      In the 1970s, Ah Kong, Singapore's most notorious drug gang, controlled the lucrative European heroin market from its headquarters in Amsterdam, Holland.

      The drug dealers wore flailing trench coats, diamond-studded Rolex watches and carried suitcases packed with cash.

      And like any true Singaporean outfit, it was ruthlessly efficient.

      While it was said Ah Kong could smuggle S$100 million of pure-grade heroin in a single shipment to anywhere in the world, Ah Kong never allowed its members to take drugs.

      Ah Kong's epic tale is told in a new book Slaying The Dragon.

      It will be launched today by Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng.

      The Ministry of Home Affairs said the book is an authoritative account of Singapore's war against drugs.

      In 1975, in a scene straight out of a movie, Ah Kong even clashed openly with a rival Hong Kong gang - 14 K - in Amsterdam's Chinatown.

      Corpses floated down the city's famed canals.

      In between arranging drug deals in the region, Ah Kong members would stop by Singapore to have their breaks. They partied away at a plush Orchard Road safe house, before a swoop by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in 1978 netted all of them.

      The CNB also worked with the Interpol to launch simultaneous raids in Europe which eventually brought the drug empire to its knees.

      So how did the book's title come about?

      Among addicts, sniffing heroin is known as 'chasing the dragon'.

      'The twirling white fumes resemble a dragon,' said author Tan Ooi Boon, who is a news editor with The New Paper.

      'And its clutch is like that of a dragon's. It doesn't let go.'

      Just over a decade ago, Singapore's drug problem was growing to dangerous levels.

      The drug rehabilitation centres, built to house 6,000 heroin addicts, were packed with more than 8,000.

      But in 1995, Mr Wong, who is also Home Affairs Minister, set a tough new master plan in place.

      And the 'dragon' has systematically been slayed over the decade.

      Last year, only 62 heroin abusers were caught, and of this group, only eight were new abusers.

      In an e-mail reply to The New Paper, DPM Wong noted that for the younger generation, the controlled drug situation today is something they easily may take for granted.

      When his Ministry prepared for the National Seminar on drug abuse last year, he realised that hardly any of the officers who were involved in the early fight against drug abuse, had remained.

      He added: 'Senior Minister of State Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee and I were among the few who were involved from the beginning.

      'The lessons of the past, how we adjusted and modified our battle plans as we fought against heroin, should not be lost with the passage of time, leaving our future generations to re-learn the painful lessons of the past and to re-invent the battle plans from scratch.'

      That was why he later asked the Ministry to commission a book on Singapore's war against drugs.

      This is to serve as a source of reference for those who join the Home Team today and in the future, to help keep Singapore drug-free.

      Slaying The Dragon will be available at libraries, community centres, schools and other educational institutions.

      http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/printfriendly/0,4139,117879,00.html

  • Pitot's Avatar
    43,431 posts since Aug '05
    • damn i thought it was a shift in gang dynamics after the hell's angels raid at one of the armory...

       

       

      At least this fella still kept his singapore citizenship! damn he must be proud of singapore..

      steady la ah ko! hahahaa

  • Dead_Man_Inc's Avatar
    11,958 posts since Dec '04
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    244,858 posts since Dec '99
  • maurizio13's Avatar
    12,915 posts since Sep '06
  • GHoST_18's Avatar
    24,162 posts since Jun '03
  • limywv's Avatar
    1,629 posts since Dec '06
  • Yomigaeru tsubasa's Avatar
    267 posts since Jan '09
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    244,858 posts since Dec '99
  • Pitot's Avatar
    43,431 posts since Aug '05
    • Originally posted by Dead_Man_Inc:

      wah, like something we would see in the movies

      i was asking my fren just now why no one take up the script..

       

      confirm blockbuster! beat internal affairs!

  • Sienx's Avatar
    1,170 posts since Sep '07
  • JJxJJ's Avatar
    7,743 posts since Mar '04
    • Originally posted by GHoST_18:

      now this really make our pai kias here look bad...

      icon_lol.gif

      like pi sai

  • Hello Kitty's Avatar
    25,805 posts since Dec '99
  • zenden9's Avatar
    1,221 posts since Nov '03
    • Ah Kong gang routed 14K???

      14k in hong kong and macau is still one of the largest triad while what happen to ah kong gang now?   Both CMI in sg and holland liao...  Really Ah Gong now.  LOL.

      Edited by zenden9 09 Jan `09, 10:47PM
  • maurizio13's Avatar
    12,915 posts since Sep '06
  • I-like-flings(m)'s Avatar
    17,699 posts since Feb '04
    • knn dunno wat john woo is waiting.... tulan about 14K kena hoot is it?? i wan it on movie la... knn..

  • maurizio13's Avatar
    12,915 posts since Sep '06
  • And life goes on... with shades of grey
    BadzMaro's Avatar
    33,745 posts since Apr '04
  • BrUtUs's Avatar
    15,021 posts since Apr '03
  • cApitaland's Avatar
    5,100 posts since Sep '05
  • I-like-flings(m)'s Avatar
    17,699 posts since Feb '04
    • Originally posted by cApitaland:

      we are in agony over his health la.


      hannor.. knn.. pls pray for him....

  • The iPhone Pig
    Detached's Avatar
    6,506 posts since Sep '04
  • Arena's Avatar
    1,222 posts since Dec '02
    • I think Sg now no more 13 Group liao.. For See Tong, I think they are non-existant in Sg liao bah.. They have all migrated to Holland?

Please Login or Signup to reply.