With the opioid crisis on the rise in the U.S, the Drug Enforcement Administration decided to fight the drug trade from within. Hence, a new office will be installed in China with the ultimate goal of regulating the distribution of fentanyl and 18 other compounds that are responsible for the opioid crisis unfolding on American soil.
Also, DEA’s top chief is planning to pay China a visit for the first time in over a decade. Monday through Thursday, Chuck Rosenberg, DEA acting administrator, will visit Guangzhou, Beijing, and Hong Kong, at the invitation of the country’s Ministry of Public Security.
According to DEA special agent Russel Baer’s statement, the new office will be installed in Guangzhou. It will be staffed with two special agents, pending final approvals, added Russel Baer. While Chinese officials dispute claims that the country is the main source of the compounds that stand at the core of the U.S. opioid crisis, fentanyl included among other precursors, DEA argues that China is the top distributor of synthetic drugs that fueled the larges opioid crisis in U.S. history.
Furthermore, according to a Justice Department indictment unsealed two years ago, China is also one of the biggest laundering destination for drug money. Even though fentanyl, which is roughly 50 times more potent than heroin, along with other 18 related compounds have not been widely used in China, the country’s officials are cooperating with U.S. special agents to stop the export and production of the synthetic drugs, in an effort to improve cooperation between the two entities in fighting the global drug trade.
At the moment, U.S. authorities claim China controls fentanyl along with more than a dozen other related synthetic compounds and is currently considering adding four more to the blacklist. Because opioid can easily be purchased online from various Chinese vendors, U.S. authorities have been pressing China to control the distribution of the synthetic compounds on multiple occasions. At the same time, however, China has been seeking support from U.S. officials to place ketamine on a U.N. list of internationally controlled substances. Ketamine, an anesthetic, has been known to be widely abused in China.
Image Source: Wikipedia
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