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Illicit drug producers: US targets Chinese network

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 04 Oct 2023, 05:03 am Print

Illicit drug producers: US targets Chinese network US-China

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 28 individuals and entities involved with the international proliferation of illicit drugs, including a China-based network responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of ton quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and MDMA precursors.

Those designated by OFAC today are also involved in the global trafficking of xylazine and “nitazenes,” which are highly potent and often mixed with illicit fentanyl or other drugs.

“Treasury is taking sweeping action with our colleagues in law enforcement to expose and disrupt a network responsible for manufacturing and distributing illicit drugs, including fentanyl and other substances that take thousands of American lives each year,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “Today’s action from OFAC and IRS-CI reflects how we will swiftly use all of our tools to counter the global threat posed by the illicit drug trade.”

Treasury’s sanctions complement indictments issued today by the U.S. Attorneys Offices for the Southern District of Florida and the Middle District of Florida.

These designations, which target 12 entities and 13 individuals based in China and two entities and one individual based in Canada pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14059, would not have been possible without the cooperation, support, and ongoing collaboration between Treasury’s OFAC, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

These partnerships highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s strengthened whole-of-government offensive to save lives by disrupting illicit fentanyl supply chains around the globe.

This action follows a rapid increase in Treasury financial sanctions targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain, including a recent action against China- and Mexico-based enablers of counterfeit pill production. Furthermore, this action demonstrates the importance of coordination amongst authorities in investigating precursor supply chains and disrupting financial flows of illicit drugs proceeds, as identified in the Financial Action Task Force’s 2022 report on Money Laundering from Fentanyl and Synthetic Opioids.     

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