March 12 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury said it has blacklisted four businesses over their connections to two allied Mexican drug cartels.
The four companies are accused of being linked to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG, and the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organization that funnel fentanyl and other deadly drugs into the United States, the Treasury said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The United States will continue to work with our Mexican counterparts to expose drug trafficking organizations that profit off of the suffering of American families,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin G. Muzinich.
The companies were designated under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act that aims to deny narcotics traffickers and their related businesses access to the U.S. financial system.
Two of the businesses — International Investments Holding in Guadalajara and GBJ de Colima, a gas station company in Villa de Alvarez — were sanctioned due to their connections to Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, the alleged leader of Los Cuinis, according to Treasury officials.
Master Reposterias Y Restaurantes and Corporativo Sushi Provi, the other two Mexican companies, were sanction due to the drug cartels attempting to use them to evade sanctions, the department said.
The Treasury said it has also added two new names to its Specially Designated Nationals List for a cabin rental business in Tapalpa that was previously designated in 2015 for providing assistance to CJNG.
The designations are the result of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration, which also on Wednesday announced along with the Justice Department that federal agents had arrested some 700 people connected to CJNG as part of Project Python.
“DEA targets drug trafficking organizations, including CJNG, on all fronts,” DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a statement. “Making money is at the heart of drug trafficking, and by choking off their means to launder drug proceeds, DEA, along with our interagency partners, is taking another step toward dismantling CJNG and associated organizations.”