The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced several Chinese nationals, who used Bitcoin to launder cash are sanctioned pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. US Treasury Targets Chinese Crypto Addresses of “Drug Pins”.
OFAC is also identifying “bitcoin addresses associated with these two drug traffickers to maximize disruption of their financial dealings.”
According to FinCEN Director Kenneth A. Blanco:
“We are making the financial sector aware of tactics and typologies behind illicit schemes to launder the proceeds of these fatal drug sales. This includes transactions using digital currency and foreign bank accounts.”
As a result of today’s action, OFAC will block all property, and interests in property of these individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons.
OFAC identified the following Chinese nationals as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act):
- Fujing Zheng (Zheng)
- Zheng Drug
- Guanghua Zheng
US Treasury Targets Chinese Crypto Addresses of “Drug Pins”. The agency stated that all the property these people own within the U.S. Also, a number of email aliases, and passport information, for the three will be frozen.
According to a press release, Fujing Zheng is a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker,” who received support from Guanghua Zheng. Yan has separately been designated “as a significant narcotics trafficker.”
Along with naming the three individuals above, OFAC listed Qinsheng Pharmaceutical Technology Co. Ltd. and the Zheng Drug Trafficking Organization.
Sigal Mandelkar, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said in a statement. That the OFAC coordinated with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and local law enforcement agencies.
“The Chinese kingpins that OFAC designated today run an international drug trafficking operation that manufactures and sells lethal narcotics, directly contributing to the crisis of opioid addiction, overdoses, and death in the United States,” Mandelkar said, adding:
“[Fujing] Zheng and Yan have shipped hundreds of packages of synthetic opioids to the U.S., targeting customers through online advertising and sales, and using commercial mail carriers to smuggle their drugs into the United States.”
Violation of the Kingpin Act may include civil penalties of up to $10 million and criminal prosecution.