China-Based Chemical Manufacturing Companies Allegedly Leveraged Crypto for Illicit Fentanyl Operations

According to DOJ, these companies used cryptocurrency to move money to facilitate the production, distribution and sales of the chemical substance. These
China-Based Chemical Manufacturing Companies Allegedly Leveraged Crypto for Illicit Fentanyl Operations
China-Based Chemical Manufacturing Companies Allegedly Leveraged Crypto for Illicit Fentanyl Operations

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed charges against eight businesses and their employees for running unlawful fentanyl operations.

The DOJ claims that these businesses moved money using bitcoin to make the chemical substance’s manufacturing, distribution, and sales more efficient. These businesses conceal their identity, conceal their location, and move money covertly by using cryptocurrency transactions.

At least 16 crypto wallets are connected to the operation, according to an allegation made today by the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Along with approving other criminal cases, the administration also approved the list of Chinese nationals.

In the words of Wally Adeyemo, the Treasury Deputy:

“Over a dozen virtual currency wallers have been identified to be associated with these actors… the blocked wallets have received millions in USD, and over hundred in deposits, illustrating the scope and scale of the illegal operation”

While this is going on, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated in a press release that “We know that the global fentanyl supply chain, which ends with the deaths of Americans, often starts with chemical companies in China.”

The United States government, he continued, “is focused on dismantling every link in that chain, removing fentanyl from our communities, and prosecuting those responsible.”

However, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren urged for a legislative strategy to stop these Chinese companies’ supply chains from operating on May 31, 2023.

Warren, however, asserted that her plan to combat money laundering using digital assets will be very helpful in exposing such actions and encouraging cryptocurrency users to follow Know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.

Nearly 90 Chinese companies were shipping fentanyl and accepting cryptocurrency in return for the drug at the time, according to research data from Elliptic.

Despite the fact that cryptocurrency is being used for a lot of criminal activities, adopting a legislative strategy to support health promotion may be a good idea.

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