US Announces Creation Of Special Task Force To Combat Fentanyl Trafficking
The United States has announced the creation of a “strike force” against fentanyl trafficking in the country, mobilizing resources from the Treasury Department and led by its Criminal Investigation division and the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized that fighting the deadly flow of fentanyl in the country is a top priority, and her department will use all available tools to combat the issue. “The Treasury Department’s Fentanyl Task Force will allow us to bring the Department’s unparalleled experience combating financial crimes to bear on this deadly epidemic,” Yellen stated.
The new force, according to TFI Undersecretary Brian Nelson, will act quickly and decisively with top-level specialists “to respond quickly to the most recent threats.”
The announcement comes as the opioid crisis continues to have devastating effects on communities across the United States. Fentanyl, a powerful opioid, is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths annually in the country, making it a top priority for the Biden administration.
The Task Force will also partner with local and federal law enforcement authorities to share financial data, intelligence, and coordination in specific cases, especially in areas near the United States that have been hardest hit by the opioid epidemic.
Since President Biden signed an executive order in December 2021 authorizing sanctions against foreigners involved in fentanyl trafficking, 250 sanctions have been imposed on people and companies, with particular attention to the drug’s supply chain.
The creation of this special force and the ongoing efforts to combat fentanyl trafficking demonstrate the US government’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis and protecting communities from the devastating effects of this deadly drug.