The Treasury Department added the cryptocurrency addresses of these Chinese citizens to the blacklist.
The United States sanctioned three Chinese citizens for being immersed in money laundering and drug trafficking using cryptocurrency addresses to conduct their negotiations.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which belongs to the US Department of Treasury, determined the sanction for these citizens and claimed that the accounts were used for illegal activities such as drugs and traffic.
In this way, OFAC, under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act described the citizens, Xiaobing Yan, Fujing Zheng and Guanghua Zheng, as drug traffickers, and immediately the entity named all bank accounts, properties and assets that they have within the United States.
In this way, a series of emails, passports of the three citizens, and their identity numbers were listed. The agency also determined and qualified a number of Bitcoin and Litecoin addresses, which were used by Chinese citizens for their business transactions.
The press release issued by the agency labeled Fujing Zheng and Xiaobing Yan as “important drug traffickers”, whilst Guanghua Zheng was appointed as Fujing’s main assistant. He also gave full support to achieve currency exchange and money laundering. In this way, Zheng’s Drug Trafficking Organization was included in the sanction, as well as it was included Qinsheng Pharmaceutical Technology Co. Ltd.
The Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, commented that it was a joint work of the OFAC with local agencies and the Financial Crime Execution Network (FinCEN) to determine the execution of the law.
In addition, the group appointed Chinese citizens last Wednesday to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, as well as the various Drug Enforcement Administration(DEA), and the US Department of Justice Criminal Division.
As part of the statements about the blocking of Chinese citizens’ accounts, Mandelkar said these three people were directly involved with drug trafficking. “The Chinese drug dealers that OFAC designated today lead an international drug trafficking operation that manufactures and sells lethal narcotics, contributing directly to the crisis of opioid addiction, overdose and deaths in the United States.
Fujing Zheng and Yan have sent hundreds of synthetic opioid packages to the US, targeting customers through online advertising and sales, and using commercial carriers to smuggle their drugs in the United States”, said Mandelkar.
It is not the first time that OFAC sanctions citizens for using cryptocurrency addresses for illicit acts, in November 2018, the same investigation team sanctioned two Iranian citizens and they were added to the agency’s blacklist too.
Hence, this sanction corresponds to the second time that the US Treasury Department designates a sanction against foreign citizens who use digital currencies for money laundering. The idea is to avoid this kind of crimes to preserve the goods of the country and the security of the citizens. That is the main objective.
By María Rodríguez