DOJ indictments Chinese companies linked to fentanyl

DOJ indictments Chinese companies linked to fentanyl

On Tuesday, the Justice Department of Justice announced eight indictments against companies based in China and their employees, who are believed to be related to the production and distribution of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

The DOJ's brief also indicates that these companies may have used crypto to manage their financial affairs related to their suspected illegal activities.

In addition to the DOJ's actions, the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has placed sanctions on 28 individuals and individuals involved and identified 16 crypto wallets believed to be associated with the indicted parties.

OFAC flagged the Hanhong Pharmaceutical Technology, Hebei Crovell Biotech, and several individuals holding crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, Tether, and Tron for suspected illegal activities.

Cryptocurrencies aren't the first time that cryptocurrencies have been found among the criminal drug trade. The recurring connection has triggered calls for action by politicians.

Massachusetts' Senator for Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton, raised concerns about the use of crypto for financing the fentanyl trade, prompting her to demand more stringent regulation of the industry.

Fentanyl, a banned drug, is estimated to have caused more than 67,000 deaths in the United States alone last year.

A dose as small as two milligrams can kill a grown adult, the Justice Department said in a statement.