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OFAC’s Sanction Bucket Grows: BTC, TRX, and ETH Addresses Flagged Over Fentanyl Ties


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The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) under the Treasury has released an updated version of the specially designated nationals (SDN) list, featuring multiple alleged fentanyl traffickers from China along with their associated cryptocurrency addresses. These highlighted crypto addresses are connected to decentralized networks such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tron.

OFAC Targets Chinese Fentanyl Traffickers; Sanctions 17 Crypto Addresses

Continually broadening its database of crypto addresses linked to potential wrongdoers, OFAC identified 17 new addresses on October 3, 2023. Associated with blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tron, as well as digital assets like tether (USDT), these addresses were linked to a network of fentanyl suppliers primarily located in China but also connected to entities in Canada.

Chainalysis published a report on the topic, revealing that the addresses collectively received “$3.8 million worth of cryptocurrency.” Several individuals, including Bahman Djebelibak, Shen Xianbiao, Wang Jiantong, Zhang Wei, Xia Fengbing, and Wang Mingming along with the Canada-based company Valerian Labs, were sanctioned by OFAC.

According to Chainalysis’ study, Fengbing managed the crypto addresses for an organization called Jiangsu Bangdeya New Material Technology. The firm’s Reactor software found that the sanctioned addresses also had ties to numerous “mainstream exchanges.” Furthermore, a considerable portion of funds originated from darknet markets. This update follows OFAC’s recent sanctions on several BTC addresses allegedly related to Iran-linked ransomware activities.

In addition to the OFAC sanctions, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced eight indictments against the ring of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and precursor chemical dealers. The indictments target the string of companies and individuals for openly advertising illicit chemical sales and using techniques to evade law enforcement. “We know that the global fentanyl supply chain, which ends with the deaths of Americans, often starts with chemical companies in China,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

What do you think about OFAC flagging 17 crypto addresses? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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