Skip to content

Confessions of a Chinese Fentanyl Trafficker: Im Really Afraid of Hurting People

  • by

We arranged a meeting in Shanghai with a synthetic drug merchant for our podcast “Painkiller: America’s Fentanyl Crisis.”

President trump and his advisors like to blame china for problems in the u.s but there’s some truth to the blame game when it comes to fentanyl making most kinds of fentanyl was perfectly legal in china until may of last year when beijing banned production but china hasn’t entirely shut down the trade i spent a year reporting on fentanyl for a vice news podcast

While reporting i came across a website for a chinese company that says it can ship the drugs through the mail to your front door hello i’m trying to reach the chemical co yeah a chemical company are you okay people really not really what’s wrong you’re climbing stairs yeah okay um i’m interested in learning more about your company and some products i’m a

Researcher in the united states research product yeah yeah you sell a lot of research chemicals i think that is what we are interested i added my new acquaintance on the encrypted messaging app signal he wouldn’t tell me his real name but he asked me to call him mr u do you still sell fentanyl analog he says i don’t really have it now mr yu said he could get

Me the other synthetic drugs listed on his site like steroids bath salts synthetic marijuana but he doesn’t ship fentanyl not anymore he says actually i am busy on teaching people to make it themselves so how could you teach me could i come to visit you to learn we got in touch with a number of other chinese companies that claim to sell fentanyl but mr yu was

The only one willing to meet in person we described ourselves as researchers but he seemed to think we were interested in doing business eventually we set up a meeting in a public park in shanghai i’m mildly nervous but mostly uh excited to see how this plays out there’s there’s a scenario where this goes horribly wrong and he freaks out or has brought some like

Hired muscle it’s a good caricature of what you think the chinese fentanyl looks like but he’s got on dark aviator glasses he’s got a great long sleeve polo shirt your track pants it’s a little disheveled he slept on a train overnight he sends a text saying he sees us but is freaked out by my producers and he agrees to meet me at another park alone the second we

Sit down i make it clear that i’m a journalist well the reason that we came i told you we were researchers so we don’t make drugs we do not we only study this we’re journalists i’m a reporter yes goodbye you managed to get a degree in biology and a job at a chemical company he says it only brought in 30 000 in five years so a couple of years ago he branched

Out he says selling fentanyl helped him afford a new house and a new car but he claims he stopped after china banned fentanyl though he’s still selling the recipe at sixty thousand dollars a pop he says he has customers in mexico you buy all the ingredients in mexico you says he thinks overdose deaths aren’t really his fault mr you messaged me recently claiming

He’s getting out of the fentanyl business he’s selling face masks for coronavirus now i asked if he knew how to get a hold of some n95 mass or reagents for coronavirus testing he responded of course i know these things you want them you

Transcribed from video
Confessions of a Chinese Fentanyl Trafficker: ‘I’m Really Afraid of Hurting People’ By VICE News