European Drug Lord, The Hainanese Kid, Dead At 72, Was Fugitive From Justice For Half-Century

May 28, 2020 – Roland (The Hainanese Kid) Tan, one of the world’s most wanted gangsters, died of a heart attack this spring in Denmark while hosting a dinner party at his Copenhagen estate. The 72-year old Tan had been on the run from authorities in Singapore since the 1960s for a gangland murder he allegedly committed 51 years ago.

While living in Holland, Tan build a multi-million dollar drug empire that spanned several countries in Europe and had outposts as far away as Australia and his native Asia. He co-founded the Ah Kong crime syndicate in the Netherlands in the 1970s and won a war with the 14K Hong Kong triad for control of the European heroin market. In 1984, he moved to Copenhagen and opened his Bali restaurant and nightclub.

Tan avoided an assassination attempt in January 2009 when a former Vietnamese bodyguard of his shot him in the shoulder on the day of his lavish birthday party at Bali’s. Following surviving the attempt on his life, he retired to the Cambodian countryside until returning to Denmark last year. His April funeral in Copenhagen drew mourners from the upper echelons of both the business and underworld, including convoys representing the Sicilian mafia, Triads, Yakuza (Japanese mafia) and the Hells Angels and Banditos biker gangs.

Coming up on the streets of Singapore in the 1960s, Tan gained the reputation as a hit man for the Triads (Chinese crime families) and the leader of a fearsome youth gang known as a Triad “JV club,” so to speak. On October 24, 1969, prosecutors in Singapore contend, that Tan shot and killed rival gangland figure Lam Chew Siew on the orders of a local Triad boss.

Tan was considered No. 1 on Singapore’s Most Wanted List from 1970 until his death last month. The Singapore government came close to getting the Hainanese Kid extradited back home for trial on the Lam Chew Siew hit in 1973, but Tan’s lawyers got a judge in Amsterdam to rule their was insufficient evidence in the case and blocked Singapore officials from coming to arrest him.

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