US Files First-Ever Charges Against Chinese Fentanyl Manufacturers

US Files First-Ever Charges Against Chinese Fentanyl ManufacturersWASHINGTON, LELEMUKU.COM - In a groundbreaking move, the United States Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against four Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and eight individuals for their alleged involvement in the illegal trafficking of chemicals used in the production of fentanyl. Fentanyl, a highly addictive painkiller, has been a major contributor to the ongoing opioid crisis in the United States.

This marks the first time the US has taken legal action against Chinese companies responsible for manufacturing precursor chemicals used in the production of fentanyl. The indictments come as a significant step in addressing the issue at its source.

During his recent visit to China, Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the need for greater cooperation from China in curbing the flow of fentanyl. However, despite efforts to stabilize the intense rivalry between the two nations, tensions resurfaced after US President Joe Biden referred to Chinese leader Xi Jinping as a dictator.

The indicted companies are accused of supplying precursor chemicals to Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, which in turn has been flooding the US market with fentanyl. Just two months ago, the US Justice Department charged leaders of the cartel with operating a fentanyl trafficking operation fueled by Chinese chemical companies. Among those charged were three sons of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel currently serving a prison sentence in the US.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the second-highest-ranking official in the Justice Department, stated that these cases represent a significant milestone in combating the fentanyl supply chain. Fentanyl is particularly dangerous due to its potency, with even the smallest doses posing a lethal threat. Unlike other drugs, fentanyl is entirely synthetic and does not occur naturally.

The Chinese Embassy has not yet responded to requests for comment on the matter.

In one of the indictments, federal prosecutors in Manhattan unveiled charges against Hubei Amarvel Biotech, a chemical company based in China, along with its executives Qingzhou Wang, Yiyi Chen, and Fnu Lnu (also known as Er Yang). The charges include fentanyl trafficking, precursor chemical importation, and money laundering. Undercover agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) posed as fentanyl manufacturers and arranged a deal with Wang and Chen to purchase 210 kilograms of fentanyl precursors using cryptocurrency. The DEA seized the chemicals from a warehouse in Los Angeles in May. While Wang and Chen were arrested by DEA agents on June 8, Yang is currently still at large.

In the Eastern District of New York, prosecutors unsealed two additional indictments against three other Chinese companies and individuals. These entities, including Hebei Sinaloa Trading Co, are accused of conspiring to manufacture and distribute fentanyl in the United States. The companies allegedly advertised precursor chemicals on social media platforms in Mexico and the US, utilizing false customs forms and mislabeled packages to transport the chemicals via air and sea.

The legal action taken by the US against these Chinese companies and individuals involved in the fentanyl supply chain demonstrates a firm commitment to addressing the opioid crisis and holding accountable those responsible for its perpetuation. By targeting the origin of the problem, authorities hope to disrupt the flow of precursor chemicals and ultimately curb the production and distribution of fentanyl in the United States. (VOA)

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