Wednesday, August 26, 2020

US imposes sanctions on Chinese national over fentanyl trafficking

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Washington D.C. [US], August 26 (ANI): US Department of Treasury on Tuesday (local time) said Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has identified Chinese national Taotao Zhang as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

"Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Chinese national Taotao Zhang as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act)," US Department of Treasury said in a release.

"OFAC also designated Hong Kong-based Allyrise Technology Group Co., Limited, for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or acting for or on behalf of, Taotao Zhang," it said.

"Fentanyl has wreaked havoc on American communities and families," Deputy Secretary Justin G. Muzinich was quoted as saying. "The United States remains committed to protecting vulnerable Americans by targeting individuals peddling this deadly drug."

According to the Department of Treasury release, Taotao Zhang, a chemist and chemical supplier, has shipped synthetic opioids to the United States via multiple individuals and freight-forwarding services in order to disguise the origin of the substances.

"Labels disguising the substances contained in the parcel are used to avoid seizure by authorities. Once a package is received in the United States, U.S.-based distributors can generally then press one kilogram of fentanyl into up to one million counterfeit pharmaceutical pills for further distribution to domestic customers," the release said.

"In addition, Taotao Zhang is the director of Allyrise Technology Group Co., Limited, located in Hong Kong. Allyrise Technology Group Co., Limited is a front company for Taotao Zhang's financial transactions," it added.

The Department said as a result of today's action all property and interests in property of the individual and the entity that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.

"OFAC's regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons," it said. (ANI)

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