OFAC Targets Chinese Money Launderers


Following on the June 18 Indictments of the Los Angeles money launderer for the Mecican drug traffickers, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Mexico-based money launderer and China-based members of a money laundering organization with criminal links to the Sinaloa Cartel..

“Combatting the threat posed by Money Laundering Organizations in China is a key priority of the Treasury Department, and today we are taking action to cut off the financial flows of major money launderers who are powering the trafficking of fentanyl and other illicit drugs to the United States,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.

In November 2023, President Biden and President Xi Jinping announced the resumption of bilateral cooperation between the United States and China to combat illicit drug manufacturing and trafficking, including synthetic drugs like fentanyl. The United States is working with Chinese authorities to target illicit financing networks, including those linked to the fentanyl trade.

Treasury’s sanctions also complement indictments on these designated persons issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. For information on actions previously taken by the U.S. Department of Justice, please see this link.


As described in Treasury’s 2024 National Money Laundering Risk Assessment, CMLOs are now one of the key actors laundering money professionally in the United States and worldwide, and are rapidly becoming one of the most prominent money laundering threat actors facing the U.S. financial system.

Drug trafficking organizations, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, have increasingly partnered with CMLOs to launder funds. Individuals working for CMLOs pick up bulk cash generated from the sale of illicit drugs in the United States, then work to move a corresponding amount of funds abroad, often to Mexico. This provides U.S. dollars to PRC nationals seeking to overcome currency controls. In addition to violating federal law in the United States and in Mexico, CMLOs also violate currency controls imposed by the PRC. 

Today’s action furthers efforts by Treasury’s Counter-Fentanyl Strike Force,


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