China Allegedly Uses Fentanyl To Fund Nationals In U.S.

( – Chinese nationals have been identified using fentanyl profits in the U.S. as funding for student loans, or to fund the lifestyles of wealthy Chinese living aboard through a detailed and extensive system of money laundering identified recently by law enforcement officials.

Worthy of note: roughly 100,000 Americans die each year from drug overdoses including fentanyl. The incredibly potent opioid has been used in various pills and powders to cut drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine when not sold directly. Fentanyl is far more potent than heroin or morphine and has been known to cause some users to feel light-headed just by contact with their skin.

Chinese criminals are cooperating with human traffickers and drug smugglers associated with Mexican cartels to bring the drug into the country. Chinese nationals are forbidden from transfers the equivalent of $50,000 or more out of China per year. This creates an interesting problem for wealthy Chinese living aboard: where can they get the cash from?

It begins with the shipment of fentanyl precursors from Chinese manufacturers to Mexican buyers who then transfer them to cartels. The cartels process the chemicals into fentanyl which is then smuggled into the U.S. and sold for cold hard cash.

Very normal appearing individuals end up using the funds provided for in this manner. For instance a Chinese student living in New York may need $75,000/year to live and study in the state. Legally, his or her parents can only transfer $50,000/year. So the student will post a message on WeChat (Chinese social media) and shortly thereafter someone will contact the student and look to facilitate the transfer of the difference. Then, back home in China, her parents will shift the funds to representatives of the network. This way money stays in the country, and the student can afford her education.

Researchers have suggested that the drug trade is largely enhanced by the action of these networks and dollar amounts per year are estimated to be in the billions.

Congress is highlighting the scheme with the intention of mitigating the deadly trade.

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