US sanctions Chinese drug trafficker, four others tied to fentanyl ring

WASHINGTON, The US Treasury Department on Friday announced sanctions against a Chinese fentanyl trafficker and four others as part of a the US administration’s crackdown on narcotic shipments flowing in from Asia.

The sanctions designates Jian Zhang as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker, as well as four key associates, Na Chu, Yeyou Chu, Cuiying Liu, and Keping Zhang, acting on behalf of Jian and Zaron Bio-Tech (Asia) Limited, a firm registered in Hong Kong that is owned or controlled by Jian Zhang, according to the Treasury Department.

Zaron Bio-Tech described itself as a manufacturer of food additives including soy-products, sugar, spice and other products. However, according to US Attorney General’s office, it manufactured fentanyl in at least four known labs in China, and advertised and sold fentanyl to US customers over the Internet since 2013, resulting in the death of four Americans and bodily harm of five others.

“Today, Treasury is targeting Jian Zhang’s fentanyl trafficking network, which has directly contributed to American deaths related to the opioid crisis,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The Justice Department has also indicted Jian and others with multiple violations, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, drug distribution and importation resulting in death, and money laundering.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions described fentanyl as the number-one killer drug in the US today, noting most of it comes from China.

The Treasury said its action will disrupt the flow of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, and serve as a warning that it will continue to target the assets of those who deal in illicit narcotics.

The Treasury’s sanctions blocks access to any assets and property in the US or in the possession or control of US persons, and prohibits all dealings by American firms or individuals.

Source: Kuwait News Agency