US indicts 4 Chinese companies for trafficking fentanyl ingredients

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The US government has charged four Chinese companies and eight Chinese individuals with trafficking in chemicals used in manufacturing fentanyl, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday.

Two of the Chinese have been arrested as the US Justice Department intensifies its crackdown on the synthetic opioid responsible for hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths in the past decade.

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It was the first time the United States has charged Chinese companies for trafficking fentanyl precursor chemicals inside the United States, rather than shipping them to Mexico, the origin of most of the fentanyl found in the country.

“These companies and their employees knowingly conspired to manufacture deadly fentanyl for distribution in the United States,” Garland said.

“Just one of these China-based chemical companies shipped more than 200 kilograms of fentanyl-related precursor chemicals to the US for the purpose of making 50 kilograms of fentanyl, a quantity that could contain enough deadly doses of fentanyl to kill 25 million Americans,” said Garland.

Charged in three separate cases filed in federal court in New York were Hubei Amarvel Biotech Co, Anhui Rencheng Technology Co, Anhui Moker New Material Technology Co, and Hefei GSK Trade Co.

The eight individuals charged included executives and employees of the four companies.

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