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Fact Sheet - Implementation of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act

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President's Trip to Europe May-June 2000


Office of the Press Secretary
(Aachen, Germany)

For Immediate Release June 2, 2000

Fact Sheet

Implementation of the
Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act


On June 1, the Administration imposed sanctions against significant foreign drug traffickers pursuant to the new Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act ("the Kingpin Act"). The President has designated the following individuals as appropriate for sanctions pursuant to the Kingpin Act: Benjamin Alberto Arellano-Felix; Ramon Eduardo Arellano-Felix; Jose de Jesus Amezcua-Contreras; Luis Ignacio Amezcua-Contreras; Rafael Caro-Quintero; Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes; Chang Chi-Fu; Wei Hsueh-Kang; Noel Timothy Heath; Glenroy Vingrove Matthews; Abeni 0. Ogungbuyi; and Oluwole A. Ogungbuyi.


In December 1999, the President signed into law the Kingpin Act (21 U.S.C. 1901-1908, 8 U.S.C. 1182), the result of legislation originally introduced by Senators Coverdell and Feinstein. The Kingpin Act establishes a sanctions program targeting the activities of significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations on a worldwide basis. It authorizes the President to impose sanctions against foreign drug kingpins when such sanctions are appropriate, with the objective of denying such persons, their businesses and their agents access to the U.S. financial system and to the benefits of trade and transactions involving U.S. businesses and individuals.

The Kingpin Act is modeled after the effective sanctions program that the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") administers against the Colombian drug cartels pursuant to Executive Order 12978. The Colombian program was initiated in October 1995 under the authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA").


The Kingpin Act provides that, on an annual basis, the President shall report to specified congressional committees those "foreign persons [he] determines are appropriate for sanctions" and detail publicly his intent to impose sanctions upon those foreign persons pursuant to the Act. The Kingpin Act requires the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Director of Central Intelligence to provide the President with the information necessary to make these determinations.

The Kingpin Act blocks assets subject to the jurisdiction of the United States of designated persons, and also prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any dealings with those designated, their front companies, and their agents. The Act also gives the Treasury authority (to be exercised in consultation with the relevant law enforcement and intelligence agencies and with the Department of State) to make derivative designations, which can be used to expand application of the Kingpin Act sanctions to the associates and organizations of the designated significant foreign narcotics traffickers.

In addition to civil penalties of up to $1 million for violations, the Kingpin Act provides for criminal penalties of up to: 10 years' imprisonment for individuals; $10 million fine for entities; and 30 years' imprisonment and/or a $5 million fine for officers, directors or agents of entities who knowingly participate in violations of the economic sanctions imposed. The Kingpin Act also provides that designated foreign persons, and immediate family members who have knowingly benefited from their illicit activity, will be denied visas for entry into the United States.

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