Chinese Chemical Businesses, Latin American Drug Cartel Associates Charged and Sanctioned for Bitcoin-based Sale of Fentanyl Precursors

April 18, 2023

One OFAC designation includes a Bitcoin address used to accept funds for the sale of fentanyl precursor chemicals made in China. Among the entities sanctioned are two Chinese chemical companies: Wuhan Shuokang Biological Technology (WSBT) and Suzhou Xiaoli Pharmatech (SXPC). These companies stand accused of selling fentanyl precursor chemicals to Latin America-based brokers, who then sell them to drug cartels like the notorious Sinaloa Cartel based in Mexico. Bitcoin’s roleBoth WSBT and SXPC accepted Bitcoin for the sale of fentanyl precursor chemicals. WSBT associate Wang Hongfei controlled at least one Bitcoin address used for this activity, which was included in his OFAC SDN list entry: 3PKiHs4GY4rFg8dpppNVPXGPqMX6K2cBML.