The Department of Homeland Security has introduced a new “intelligence-driven approach” to dismantle global criminal networks and keep “dangerous substances like illicit fentanyl” off American streets.
On Tuesday, Homeland Security Investigations made public its 15-page “Strategy for Combating Illicit Opioids,” which it claims is based on four objectives: cutting down on both the domestic and international supply of illicit opioids; attacking the sources of financing for such trafficking; combating cybercrime and the smuggling of weapons; and reaching out to business.
“For more than five years now, fentanyl has been causing so much loss of life and destruction in our communities,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. “We in the Department of Homeland Security, along with our federal, state, and local partners, are committed to combating this scourge and protecting American communities from it.
“The new HSI Strategy for Combating Illicit Opioids that we are announcing today will help further align our intelligence and field operations to keep fentanyl off the streets and bring ruthless cartels and criminal organizations to justice,” he added.
According to the article, the HSI claims to have confiscated more than 1.8 million pounds of drugs, $5 billion in illicit funds, and other assets in fiscal year 2022.
In addition to other changes, the HSI will enhance staffing at Southwest border ports of entry “in anticipation of increased narcotics detections,” it said.
The report calls for the creation of the Cross-Border Financial Crime Center, which will be a “partnership between federal law enforcement agencies, partner nation authorities, U.S. regulatory organizations, banks and other financial institutions, and financial technology companies aimed at achieving enhanced information sharing on financial crime and the illicit use of cryptocurrencies.”
“The Center will directly support the prosecution, disruption, and dismantlement of [transnational criminal organizations] TCOs and other criminal actors engaged in illicit cross-border financial activity.”
Profit, according to Homeland Security, is the “primary motive” behind the manufacture and selling of illegal substances.
“Currently, Mexican cartels generally source chemicals used in the production of drugs from Asia. There are indications, however, that certain key chemicals originate from the United States,” the report also says. “HSI will establish the Chemical Industry Outreach Project to proactively engage domestic chemical companies exporting licit precursor chemicals to Mexico and Central America to counter this trend.”