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Sinaloa Cartel joins Kinahan gang on US government's new 'Most Wanted' poster campaign

Considered among one of the most-powerful drug-trafficking syndicates in the world, the cartel is based in Mexico's Sinaloa state

The 'wanted' poster for the Sinaloa cartel

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

The US government has launched a new poster campaign offering rewards for the arrest of the leaders of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel to go alongside their campaign targeting the Kinahan mob.

The new wanted poster offers a $45 million reward for information on various members of the Mexican cartel including Rafael Caro Quintero and Ismael Zambada Garcia ‘El Mayo’.

Considered among one of the most-powerful drug-trafficking syndicates in the world, the cartel is based in Sinaloa state which has long been involved in the illegal drug industry.

It was also the birthplace of numerous drug traffickers, including Héctor Luis Palma Salazar and Joaquín Guzmán Loera, who was known as El Chapo ('Shorty').

The campaign has been launched amid what has been reported as rising frustration over level of fentanyl trafficking and "lack of action in Mexico".

A reward poster issued for the Kinahans

The poster is similar to the one issued recently by the US Treasury Department as they offered a $5m reward for information leading to the disruption of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group, which named Daniel Kinahan, along with his father and brother, Christopher Sr and Jr, as the heads of the cartel.

Sanctions were placed on the Kinahans, along with four others deemed to be working for or with the crime group. Three companies deemed to be connected to the gang and its members were also the subject of sanctions by the US government.

Four of the gang's most trusted members are also listed including key associate Sean McGovern(36) , currently based in Dubai, who is described as Daniel Kinahan's "advisor and closest confidant".

Three others are Ian Dixon (32) who controls financial payments of the gang; Bernard Clancy (44) who organises wage payments and; Spanish based John Morrissey (61) who is described as an enforcer and facilitates drug shipments from South America.

Three companies have also been added to the sanctions list by the US Department of Treasury, including Hoopoe Sports LLC, a sport management company based in the UAE.

The sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) means that all property, or interests in property, linked to the named associates and three companies within the US must be reported and blocked.

This includes a ban on US companies doing business with the designated members, their finances in American banks being frozen, and not being able to fly with US airlines. People based in the US are also banned from acting on behalf of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG).

The DEA marks today, May 10, as National Fentanyl Awareness Day to highlight the fact that the number of people dying as a result of an overdose is growing.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Americans ages 18-45 are dying of overdoses more than anything else. Many of those deaths are attributed to fentanyl.

The DEA says not only is fentanyl inexpensive, widely available, and highly addictive, but a lot of times, people aren’t even aware they took it.

Drug dealers and traffickers often mix fentanyl with other drugs, in both powder and pill form, to create repeat customers. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.

When prescribed by a licensed medical professional, fentanyl can be used to treat chronic pain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, nearly 107,000 people died as a result of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending November 2021. And 66% of overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The number of deaths attributed to synthetic opioids has increased steadily over the years.

To commemorate National Fentanyl Awareness Day, the DEA has created a special exhibit in its museum, Faces of Fentanyl, to showcase lives lost due to fentanyl poisoning.

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