MEXICO CITY, May 31 (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a dozen people and businesses in China and Mexico on Tuesday for allegedly helping supply machines used to make counterfeit prescription drugs in an effort to combat deadly synthetic opioids Trafficking of the drug fentanyl.
Those targeted by the sanctions have been linked to the sale of pill presses, molds and other equipment used by drug cartels to produce counterfeit drugs.
“Treasury’s sanctions target every stage of the deadly supply chain, contributing to a surge in fentanyl poisoning and deaths across the country,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement .
Those sanctioned include Youli Technology Development Co. Ltd., a Chinese pill press supplier based in Huizhou, China, and three affiliated Chinese nationals. The Treasury Department said the company had shipped pill presses to people in the United States involved in the manufacture of counterfeit drugs.
The U.S. sanctions also target affiliates Yason General Machinery Co, Ltd and Yason Electronics Technology Co., Ltd in Shenzhen, China. Yason allegedly worked with a Mexico-based supplier of pill equipment that supplied equipment to a person linked to the Sinaloa cartel.
“This individual used these machines to create a superlab in Mexico capable of producing millions of fentanyl-containing pills each week,” the Treasury Department said.
Mexpacking Solutions, based in Chihuahua, Mexico, sells pill presses and other equipment and is said to be controlled by a supplier of pill presses to the Sinaloa Cartel, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Three individuals associated with the company were also sanctioned.
Sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) freeze the assets of U.S. companies and individuals. They also prohibit U.S. citizens and businesses from conducting any transactions with the targeted entities.
In April, U.S. prosecutors announced indictments against members of the cartel in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, accusing them of producing and trafficking fentanyl. In recent years, synthetic opioids have been blamed for tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has repeatedly denied that Mexico produces the powerful drug, although U.S. authorities say Mexico is cooperating, including in some of the sanctions on Mexican citizens announced Tuesday. . (Associated Press)
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