Media Advisory: Under Secretary Brian Nelson to Travel to the U.S. Southwest Border

WASHINGTON – Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) Brian E. Nelson will travel to the U.S. southwest border region from July 10 – 12 as part of the Treasury Department’s work to combat the illicit fentanyl trade. Treasury has been at the forefront of the counternarcotics fight for decades and is escalating the use of sanctions and other tools across the global fentanyl supply chain to disrupt the transfer of precursor chemicals and components that drug cartels require to produce illicit fentanyl intended for U.S. markets.

Under Secretary Nelson, the first TFI Under Secretary of any administration to visit the Southwestern border, will visit Laredo and San Antonio, Texas. He has previously visited the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border crossings; this is his second border trip in six months.

In Laredo, Under Secretary Nelson will receive briefings on Customs and Border Protection operations at the Laredo Juarez-Lincoln Port of Entry. He will also discuss cargo processing and inspections at the World Trade Bridge. In San Antonio, Under Secretary Nelson, Acting Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Himamauli Das, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Jamie Esparza, and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar Hamdani will host a “FinCEN Exchange,” a public-private information exchange with local officials and financial institutions. FinCEN Exchanges enable the private sector to better identify risks and provide FinCEN and law enforcement with critical information to disrupt money laundering, narcotics financing, and other financial crimes.

The Treasury Department has long recognized the threat from money laundering linked to drug trafficking. The Department is a key implementer of the President’s National Drug Control Strategy, which identifies countering illicit finance as a critical pillar to degrade and disrupt transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that traffic these drugs. In recent months, Treasury has imposed significant sanctions against TCOs, drug trafficking organizations, and those involved in the illicit fentanyl supply chain. This includes designations on:

Treasury also works closely with foreign government counterparts, including the Government of Mexico, to help build capacity when it comes to tracing financial crimes and combatting illicit finance. Under Secretary Nelson’s first international trip after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate was to Mexico, where he met with public and private sector partners to discuss ways to enhance collaboration on counter-narcotics, human smuggling, and anti- corruption.


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