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Rep. Young Kim

Washington, DC – Today, the House Financial Services Committee passed the Stop Fentanyl Money Laundering Act of 2023 (H.R. 3244), a bill U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-40) helped introduce with National Security, Illicit Finance, and International Financial Institutions Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03).

The Stop Fentanyl Money Laundering Act is an anti-money laundering bill which will shine light on improvements law enforcement may need to combat fentanyl trafficking by:

  • Allowing the Treasury Department to utilize its special measure authorities to target and thwart the money laundering facilitating Fentanyl trafficking in foreign jurisdictions;
  • Providing law enforcement with streamlined and updated Suspicious Activity Reports to follow the money of narcotics trafficking; and,
  • Requiring FinCEN to provide critical information on the usefulness of the SAR updates.

Rep. Kim serves as Subcommittee Vice Chair and spoke in support of the bill during the markup. Watch her remarks here and read them below.

I rise in strong support of H.R. 3244 – the Stop Fentanyl Money Laundering Act of 2023 – introduced by my colleague, Chairman of the National Security and Illicit Finance Subcommittee, Mr.  Luetkemeyer. 

I was happy join him and my colleagues, Representatives Barr and Nunn, as a co-lead to introduce this important piece of legislation. 

As a mother and a grandmother, it pains me to see that our youth – the future of our country – is being damaged by the rampant fentanyl crisis. 

According to HHS, rates of illicit prescription pill use are now highest among people ages 18 to 25. 

To make matters worse, DEA says that about 4 out of 10 illicit pills contain lethal doses of fentanyl. 

In California’s 40th District, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes says that from 2021 to 2022 seizures of fentanyl had more than quadrupled to 450 pounds. His department also seized more than 405,000 pills suspected of containing fentanyl in 2022—twenty-five times the amount seized in 2021. 

One report close to my district says 1 out of every 5 youth deaths in California are caused by fentanyl. 

Unfortunately, these numbers help to paint a picture of horror and despair for each of the families of those taken by a fentanyl overdose. 

This Committee has examined how Chinese syndicates and Mexican drug cartels utilize trade-based money laundering to move illicit money into the legal financial system. 

The illegal proceeds are then used by the Mexican cartels to purchase precursor chemicals from the PRC to synthesize and manufacture fentanyl at very low costs and high margins. 

We must do everything in our power to put a stop to this evil partnership and protect our youth, our constituents, and our country. 

H.R.  3244 will direct FinCEN to do more thwart trade-based money laundering and prioritize SAR reporting on narcotics trafficking and drug cartels. 

H.R. 3244 empowers FinCEN to improve reporting by financial institutions and improve data that could help us better shed light on the partnership between Chinese criminal syndicates and Mexican drug cartels. 

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3244, and with that I yield the balance of my time.

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