US Sanctions 3 Individuals, Dozens of Bitcoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash Addresses on Opioid Allegations

Sanctioned individuals allegedly sold drugs to U.S. markets through online markets.

AccessTimeIconNov 9, 2022 at 4:09 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 9, 2022 at 4:51 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Treasury Department's sanctions watchdog added three people to its blacklist, alleging they used crypto to facilitate the supply of illegal and synthetic drugs into the U.S.

In a press release Wednesday, Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control announced it was adding Dutch citizens Alex Adrianus Martinus Peijnenburg and Martinus Pterus Henri De Koning and British national Matthew Simon Grimm to its sanctions list, alongside more than 50 bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH) addresses. The three individuals are accused of providing drugs in the U.S., including fentanyl, stimulants, cannabinoids and opioids.

The three sold the drugs through darknet marketplaces and other internet stores, OFAC alleged. The sanctions watchdog is also adding a number of businesses tied to the three to its blacklist, meaning Americans are prohibited from conducting any transactions with the three.

"The Treasury Department will continue to deploy its counter-narcotics authorities to disrupt those involved in the fentanyl global supply chain," Brian Nelson, the Treasury's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, said in the press release.

More than 30 of the addresses were tied to Grimm, with the remainder tied to Peijnenburg.

“Treasury is identifying over 50 virtual wallet addresses associated with this network’s drug trafficking activities as we take further action to counter the abuse of virtual currency. I would like to thank our Dutch and U.K. partners and U.S. law enforcement counterparts for their partnership and for enabling today’s action," Nelson said.


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Nikhilesh De

Nikhilesh De is CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation. He owns marginal amounts of bitcoin and ether.