FinCEN Exchange Aligns Private & Public Sectors to Share Information to Combat Fentanyl Trafficking

February 6, 2024

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau under the US Department of Treasury, has organized a partnership, FinCEN Exchange, where public and private sectors voluntarily share strategic and operational information to fight illicit financial networks facilitating fentanyl trafficking.

US Treasury launched a Counter-Fentanyl Strike Force in December 2023, bringing together personnel, expertise, intelligence, and resources from key treasury offices to tackle fentanyl trafficking in the US. FinCEN Exchange supports Treasury’s Strike Force and it’s the third in a series, with a specific focus on collaboration with regional financial institutions nationwide.

Also Read: FinCEN Imposes $100,000 Penalty on Former Credit Union BSA Officer for Violating Bank Secrecy Act

The previous two FinCEN Exchanges were convened in 2023, in San Antonio, Texas, and Cincinnati, Ohio, aimed to combat fentanyl trafficking.

Representatives at the FinCEN Exchange

Jointly hosted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, FinCEN Exchange brought together participants from the financial sector along with regional and national law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

FinCEN and the law enforcement representatives emphasized that suspicious activity reporting can facilitate law enforcement endeavors to address fentanyl trafficking. They also shared insights on how the financial sector can enhance the effectiveness of suspicious activity reporting connected to suspected fentanyl trafficking & money laundering in Southern California and beyond.

Correspondingly, FIs reportedly exchanged information related to the movement of illicit funds and tactics employed by drug traffickers and their accomplices. Discussions were also made to foster collaboration and amplify the importance of suspicious activity reporting to counter this looming threat.

About Fentanyl Trafficking

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic. Fentanyl trafficking is a major challenge in the US owing to its high potency, which attracts illicit actors seeking higher profits. The widespread challenge of fentanyl trafficking is influenced by its illicit production, ease of transportation, and ongoing contribution to the opioid crisis.

Information-sharing practices among institutions may facilitate law enforcement authorities to make better use of available sources and advanced technologies to detect illicit activities and hinder the flow of illicit funds. In what ways, will FinCEN’s partnership between public and private sectors facilitate the identification of bad actors involved in fentanyl trafficking?

Also read: US Treasury Initiates Strike Force to Combat Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking