WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday announced actions against Chinese companies and people as President Joe Biden’s administration targets trafficking of the deadly drug fentanyl, unsealing indictments and imposing sanctions on dozens of targets.

“We are here today to deliver a message on behalf of the United States government. We know who is responsible for poisoning the American people with fentanyl,” Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said it had imposed sanctions on 28 people and entities involved with the international proliferation of illicit drugs.

The move marks the latest Chinese targets Washington has hit with sanctions related to fentanyl, as the administration seeks to stem imports of the drug.

None of the defendants has been arrested so far and the Chinese government did not work with US authorities on the investigations, Garland said.

The announcement came the day before Garland was due to travel to Mexico with other senior US officials. Fentanyl trafficking is expected to be a major subject of discussion.

Prosecutors accused some of the chemical manufacturing companies of shipping chemicals used to make fentanyl to the US using fake shipping labels and other mechanisms to avoid detection. Other shipments went to Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa drug cartel, prosecutors said.

The Treasury accused the China-based network of being responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl, methamphetamine and MDMA precursors.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2023

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