Toomey joins in drug leg­is­la­tion, cur­rency study

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL -

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey joined col­leagues re­cently to in­tro­duce sep­a­rate pieces of bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion re­gard­ing the flow of fen­tanyl into the United States and the use of vir­tual cur­rency in sex and drug traf­fick­ing.

The Block­ing Deadly Fen­tanyl Im­ports Act im­poses new penal­ties on fen­tanyl-ex­port­ing na­tions like China that do not ad­here to in­ter­na­tional nar­cotics con­trol stan­dards, a news re­lease from Toomey’s of­fice states.

Un­der the law, a na­tion ex­port­ing il­licit fen­tanyl would be in­el­i­gi­ble for U.S. tax­payer-sub­si­dized for­eign aid or Ex­port-Im­port Bank loans if it fails to co­op­er­ate with U.S. nar­cotics con­trol ef­forts.

“Il­licit fen­tanyl from out­side our bor­ders has al­ready pre­ma­turely ended far too many Amer­i­can lives,” Toomey, R-Pa., said in the re­lease. “As fen­tanyl can be 50 times as po­tent as heroin, even small, dif­fi­cult-to-de­tect amounts can be lethal, which is why it’s im­por­tant to stop this prob­lem at its source.”

Mean­while, the Fight Il­licit Net­works and De­tect (FIND) Traf­fick­ing Act of 2019 would re­quire the Govern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice to con­duct a study on how vir­tual cur­ren­cies and on­line marketplaces are used to fa­cil­i­tate sex and drug traf­fick­ing.

The GAO also would make rec­om­men­da­tions on how to fight, de­tect and de­ter these il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Vir­tual cur­ren­cies and on­line marketplaces are in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar with sex and drug traf­fick­ing crim­i­nals who are try­ing to avoid de­tec­tion,” Toomey said.

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