President Joe Biden has decided to toughen the US sanctions regime against actors in international drug trafficking, which will immediately apply to a Chinese drug trafficker and four Chinese companies accused of participating in the illegal production of fentanyl, a powerful opioid summary, for the US market, according to press releases from the White House and the Treasury Department.
President Joe Biden takes decisive action to detect, disrupt and reduce the power of transnational criminal organizations by means of two decrees, according to a document transmitted by its services.
One of these decrees established a new body, the
United States Council on Transnational Organized Crime, whose acronym in English will be USCTOC, and which will bring together representatives of various administrations.
The other decree establishes a broader regime of sanctions against international drug traffickers, whose assets in the United States may be frozen.
China, Brazil and Mexico
In application of this new sanctions regime, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday a series of targets: in China, but also in Brazil and Mexico.
In China, the target is an individual, Chuen Fat Yip, accused of directing synthetic drug trafficking between China and the United States, as well as four companies: Wuhan Yuancheng Gongchuang Technology, Shanghai Fast-Fine Chemicals, Hebei Huanhao Biotechnology and Hebei Atun Trading.
It’s very simple, a lot of the raw materials for the manufacture of synthetic opiates come from China. It was important to send a message in this regard, explained a senior US government official, on condition of anonymity.
In Brazil, the new US sanctions will apply to
Primeiro Comando Da Capital, designated as
the most powerful organized crime network in Brazil and one of the most powerful in the world, whose activities in drug trafficking, money laundering, extortion and commissioned assassination extend around the world.
In Mexico, two criminal groups are targeted: Los Rojos and Guerreros Unidos.
To this list is added a series of networks and drug traffickers in Mexico and Colombia already sanctioned since 1995 and 1999.
$ 5 million reward
The State Department, for its part, said it was offering up to $ 5 million in rewards for any information that could lead to the arrest of four Mexican nationals and three Chinese nationals, including Chuen Fat Yip, accused of seizure. deliver to international drug trafficking.
For years, the United States has been in the throes of the worst drug use epidemic in its history, with overdose deaths involving illegally produced heroin and fentanyl, as well as the greatest circulation of methamphetamine, commented Secretary of State Antony Blinken, quoted in a statement.
Between April 2020 and April 2021, the United States had 100,306 fatal overdoses, a 28.5% increase from the same period the year before (78,056 deaths).
One death every 5 minutes
This is the first time that the symbolic bar of 100,000 deaths in one year has been exceeded. This means one death every 5 minutes.
Fentanyl itself, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, is not necessarily illegal. It can for example be used as a sedative for cancer patients in great pain.
But Chinese laboratories are suspected of widely supplying drug traffickers, especially Mexicans, with substances used to manufacture fentanyl, if necessary by falsifying documents intended for customs.
This traffic most often takes place over the Internet and payments can be traded in cryptocurrency, which complicates the task of investigators.
China toughened its legislation in 2019, listing all types of fentanyl on its list of controlled substances.