The fact that Bitcoin is not particularly suitable for washing money should have circulated in the meantime. The ability of blockchain technology to be transparent, censored and pseudonymous makes cash flow understandable and does not make Bitcoin the tool of choice.
Bitcoin and the trade in opioids
Nevertheless, manufacturers, tobacconists and distributors of illicit substances seem to use Bitcoin several times to transport their acquired capital. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) indicates that Chinese drug traffickers are using Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies to transfer money to bank accounts in Hong Kong and China .
On the other hand, the Ministry of Finance's supervisory authority intends to work with the Treasury Financial Crime Network (FinCEN). The OFAC inspectorate and the FinCEN investigating authority want money laundering with Bitcoin by Chinese tobacconists to be a thing of the past. She identified two so-called Kingpins, chiefs of drug trafficking networks, Fujing Zheng and Xiaobing Yan. Together they would have produced, inter alia, synthetic opioid and its derivatives.
Sigal Mandelker, Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Unit of the Authority:
The Chinese Kingpins, nowadays appointed by OFAC, are leading an international drug smuggling operation that manufactures and sells narcotic drugs. Thus, they contribute directly to the crisis of opioid dependence, overdose and death in the United States. Zheng and Yan have sent hundreds of synthetic opioid packages to the United States in order to target their customers through online advertising and sales, and to use commercial postal operators to pass their smuggled drugs in the United States. The coordinated action of OFAC and FinCEN with the US police is using the Treasury authorities to deal with the deadly crisis of synthetic opioids that plague America.
In order to maximize his "disturbances in financial transactions", the two Kingpins would have used, among other things, Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
The Kingpin Act and Bitcoin Drug Developers
The two US authorities are acting under the Foreign Narcotics Designation Act in Kingpin in the entanglements surrounding the two opioid traffickers who ship their products with Bitcoin:
Its goal is to prevent major foreign drug traffickers, their affiliates and their employees from accessing the US financial system and to prohibit all transactions between merchants and US businesses and individuals. The Kingpin law authorizes the president to take these steps when he finds that a foreign person plays an important role in international drug trafficking.
However, US authorities are fighting a problem that the local pharmaceutical industry is largely responsible for.
The American opioid crisis
In 1996, the American pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma launched the analgesic Oxycontin, a powerful pain reliever containing the active ingredient oxycodone, which has a high potential for dependence. However, the latter, Purdue Pharma, generously concealed and marketed their product aggressively. As a result, the drug has quickly become one of the best-selling drugs in the world.
However, after the analgesic had recognized the danger, the drug was soon no longer as generously prescribed. This, coupled with the fact that the price is relatively high, has led legal addicts to gradually take over the black market – the drug of choice here is heroin.
This is being treated more and more with synthetic opioid fentanyl (just as legal). This eventually leads to the problems of "addiction, overdose and death" mentioned by Sigal Mandelker.
A deep problem
In the end, it was this chemical that drove out the two Chinese Kingpins, apparently paying for it in Bitcoin. The case again shows that the United States has much bigger problems than Bitcoin. Although the authorities should be able to contain the influence of foreign drug traffickers, the crisis persists in the country. Because the authorities are fighting against a problem that has arisen on American soil and that has also been discharged.
The Kingpin Act and the concomitant struggle against foreign drug designers appear here as a control of the symptoms. Similar to the unsuccessful war on drugs, you are wasting billions of dollars instead of looking for root causes and promoting prevention.
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