The government of the United States, via the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), has decided to blacklist three crypto addresses this week. According to the institution, the owners of these crypto addresses were guilty of money laundering and drug smuggling.
According to the OFAC, Fujing Zheng, Xiaobing Yan and Guanghua Zheng were all determined as “drug kingpins”. All their U. S.-related assets were frozen, as well as their email accounts.
As you cannot simply seize the assets of a crypto wallet, the addresses of several Bitcoin wallets and one Litecoin wallet related to the Chinese criminals were blacklisted. This means that no organization that does not want to break the U. S. law can transact with them.
The OFAC affirmed that these people used Bitcoin in order to launder the money from their crimes and put it into banks that were based in either China or Hong Kong.
Sigal Mandelker, from the financial intelligence unit of the government, affirmed that these three people were involved in a significant international operation of drug trafficking. He also affirmed that they were directly responsible for the opioid crisis that is affecting the United States by shipping hundreds of packages full of drugs to the country.
This is only the second time that the entity decided to blacklist a wallet. Doing this is still considered somewhat rare, mostly because the government is not so used to deal with crypto yet. The first time that something like this happened was in November 2018 when two Iranian men were accused of being related to a ransomware scam.
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