The United States issued major sanctions against a Chinese citizen, Zhang Taotao, allegedly “one of the world’s top drug traffickers,” the report said in a State Department news release on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Zhang and Hong Kong-based Allyrise Technology Group Co. Limited, were designated under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for their role in international drug trafficking. 

According to the statement, Tuesday’s action is part of a continuing governmentwide effort to combat the illegal production and trafficking of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids produced in the China, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Zhang is accused of sending synthetic opioids to the United States through various individuals and freight services, using false labels to disguise the contents of the package and prevent seizure by authorities. Allyrise Technology Group Co.Limited, was designated as being owned, controlled, directed, or operated by or on behalf of Zhang.

An image released by the U.S. Treasury Department identifying Chinese national Zhang Taotao and his drug network. (U.S. Treasury Department)

Once a package is received in the United States, local distributors introduce fentanyl into counterfeit pharmaceutical pills for further distribution and domestic consumption.

The State Department assures that Tuesday’s designations are part of a broad U.S. effort to disrupt and deter drug-trafficking organizations from purchasing illicit chemical precursors from China, using those precursors to manufacture fentanyl, and trafficking the finished products into the United States.

The press statement also makes a request to the CCP to accelerate efforts to regulate its chemical industry and reduce the detour of precursors to the international black market.

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he will continue to use all available tools to combat drug trafficking globally, including through programs that seek to disrupt and deter illicit drug trafficking and transnational organized crime networks, such as the State Department’s Kingpin Act designations and narcotics and transnational organized crime reward programs.

The fight against fentanyl was one of the main objectives of President Trump since the beginning of his administration. Proof of that is that fentanyl from China accounted for 97 percent of the drugs seized from international mail services by U.S. law enforcement in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

President Trump on Twitter pointed out to the CCP in August of last year regarding its export of fentanyl, “I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS, and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE, … all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop—it didn’t.”

The struggle ahead is not easy. On the other side of the ocean is the world’s largest producer of fentanyl—China. While the production of drugs in China is illegal and punishable, it is the production of fentanyl for medical use that has created the legal loophole that drug traffickers slip through.