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  4. Following DHS Investigation, Treasury Sanctions Human Smuggling and Drug Trafficking Organization

Following DHS Investigation, Treasury Sanctions Human Smuggling and Drug Trafficking Organization Operating on Southwest Border 

Release Date: December 14, 2023

Administration-Wide Action Taken in Coordination with Government of Mexico

WASHINGTON — Today, following an investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the Malas Mañas transnational criminal organization (TCO), a human smuggling and narcotics trafficking organization based in Sonora, Mexico, along with two individuals in its support network. Human smuggling organizations like Malas Mañas value profit over human life, endanger the lives of migrants and undermine the U.S. asylum system. In addition to human smuggling, Malas Mañas traffics deadly drugs, including illicit fentanyl and methamphetamine, thereby threatening the national security of the United States and Mexico.

“The Department of Homeland Security continues to relentlessly pursue transnational criminal organizations. Through whole-of-government efforts targeting cartels and smugglers like the Malas Mañas, we are disrupting the illicit financial networks of criminals who profit off of vulnerable migrants and devastate our communities with fentanyl and other dangerous narcotics,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Today’s announcement showcases the work of Homeland Security Investigations, alongside our partners at the Drug Enforcement Administration and Treasury Department, in safeguarding our nation and holding those who benefit from crime accountable.”

“On my recent visit to Mexico City, I shared Treasury’s commitment to working together with the Government of Mexico to target the illicit finances of criminal organizations that undermine the security and prosperity of both of our countries,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen. “As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to target the human smugglers and drug traffickers operating on the U.S. southwestern border, we are imposing sanctions today to target Mala Mañas or likeminded organizations that take advantage of migrants and abuse the U.S. financial system.”

HSI worked with OFAC to sanction key members of Malas Mañas leadership and the organization itself to impede access to illicit proceeds from drug trafficking and human smuggling. The illicit proceeds generated by these activities cause instability in the region, promote corruption, and fund the cartels to expand their operations and distribution networks. HSI leverages its vast statutory authority, unique access to customs and financial data, and its years of expertise in investigating cross-border criminal activity to disrupt and dismantle the transnational criminal organizations involved in human smuggling, trafficking, narcotics and financial crimes. HSI and the Department of Homeland Security are committed to protecting our communities from these dangerous criminal organizations both here and abroad.

Today’s action from OFAC, a member of the Treasury Counter-Fentanyl Strike Force, would not have been possible without the cooperation, support, and ongoing collaboration between OFAC, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Additionally, OFAC coordinated this action with the Government of Mexico, including La Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (UIF), Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

For more information on today’s sanctions, please visit: Treasury Sanctions Human Smuggling and Drug Trafficking Organization Operating on Southwest Border | U.S. Department of the Treasury

Last Updated: 12/15/2023
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