The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on an Ethereum (ETH) wallet associated with Jimenez Castro, an alleged money launderer for the Sinaloa cartel. The action is part of a broader effort to target cryptocurrency operations linked to cartels. According to OFAC’s updated sanctions list, the Ethereum address received approximately $740,000 worth of deposits on the Binance exchange between January and February 2022.
The US Treasury accuses Castro of using cryptocurrency and bank transfers to funnel proceeds from fentanyl sales in the US back to Sinaloa leaders in Mexico. Castro is one of ten individuals with alleged ties to the Sinaloa cartel who have been sanctioned in a counter-narcotics initiative. The Sinaloa cartel is known as one of the world’s most dangerous and prolific drug trafficking organizations, particularly in the distribution of fentanyl into the US. Disrupting their crypto money laundering activities is seen as a significant strategy.
However, cartels are known to employ sophisticated techniques, such as spreading funds across multiple wallets and obfuscating transaction sources.