Probe: Chinese opioid sellers exploiting US postal flaw

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional investigators say Chinese opioid manufacturers are exploiting weak screening at the U.S. Postal Service to ship large quantities of illegal drugs to American dealers.

In a yearlong probe, Senate investigators found that Chinese sellers, who openly market opioids such as fentanyl to U.S. buyers, are pushing delivery through the U.S. postal system. The sellers are taking advantage of a failure by the postal service to fully implement an electronic data system that would help authorities identify suspicious shipments.

The probe matches many of the findings of an Associated Press investigation in 2016 that detailed unchecked production in China of some of the world's most dangerous drugs.

Researchers on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations contacted Chinese sellers directly. They traced the online sellers to seven U.S. opioid deaths.

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