The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) branch of the US Treasury Department announced on Wednesday that it has blacklisted some digital asset addresses belonging to suspected drug barons. The move is related to charges bordering on drug trafficking, money laundering violations which the agency has tracked for several months.
According to the release, the addresses were blacklisted under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act which empowers the agency to identify assets belonging to that category of criminals. The OFAC named Xiaobing Yan, Fujing Zheng and Guanghua Zheng as the suspected kingpins and went on to list their Bitcoin and Litecoin addresses. Also listed were their passport numbers which showed that they are Chinese.
Aside the three named individuals, the agency also named a corporate entity, Qinsheng Pharmaceutical Technology Co. Ltd and Zheng Drug Trafficking Organization in the update identifying the companies in drug smuggling operations.
Although the charges against the individuals and businesses were not specified, it is obviously related to laundering and illicit dealings in prohibited substances. The blacklisted digital currency addresses are:
This is not the first time OFAC is sanctioning erring foreign nationals with attendant blacklisting of their digital assets holdings. In November 2018, two Iranians were added to the Specially Designated Nationals list which the Treasure under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker stated was meant to identify and publishing assets of malicious and criminal actors.
Violation of the Kingpin Act carries sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment and $5 million fine, civil sanction penalties of $1.1 million per offence.