US Imposes Sanctions on Chinese, Mexican Entities for Drug Equipment Supply

Wed May 31 2023
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WASHINGTON: The United States (US) has implemented sanctions on 17 individuals and companies from China and Mexico for their involvement in supplying pill press machines and other equipment used in the production of illegal drugs.

The equipment enabled the production of counterfeit pills, often containing the dangerous opioid fentanyl, which were made to resemble legitimate pharmaceuticals, as stated in a press release by the US Treasury Department on Tuesday.

The sanctions target seven entities and six individuals based in China, along with one entity and three individuals based in Mexico. Brian E. Nelson, the Under Secretary for Financial Intelligence and Terrorism at the US Treasury Department, highlighted that the sanctions aim to disrupt the entire supply chain that contributes to the surge in fentanyl-related poisonings and deaths across the country.

He emphasized that counterfeit pills containing fentanyl are a significant cause of fatalities, devastating numerous American families each year. The US remains committed to employing all available measures to combat illicit drug production and address the threat posed by these drugs.

US Alleges China Facilitates Mexico’s Illegal Drug Trade

The United States alleges that China has facilitated Mexico’s illegal drug trade by supplying pill-making equipment to drug cartels. Yason General Machine, one of the companies subjected to sanctions, stands accused of selling equipment to a Mexico-based supplier and contact with previous ties to an individual associated with the Sinaloa cartel.

Responding to the sanctions, the Chinese embassy in the United States condemned the move, asserting that the US itself is the root cause of its drug problems. The embassy spokesperson’s comment was made in reference to the question regarding the imposed sanctions.

According to provisional information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 105,452 individuals in the US died from drug overdoses last year. Nearly 79 percent of these deaths involved opioids such as fentanyl, which is estimated to be 50 times more potent than heroin.

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