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U.S. seizes $25 million worth of aluminum linked to Chinese billionaire

U.S. customs officials have seized $25 million worth of aluminum linked to a Chinese billionaire accused of stockpiling the metal across the world, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move is the most potent action yet by federal authorities probing whether U.S. companies connected to Chinese aluminum magnate Liu Zhongtian illegally avoided punitive tariffs by routing their metal through other countries.

The Wall Street Journal in October reported that Homeland Security and the Justice Department are investigating whether the companies committed criminal or civil violations that could include smuggling, conspiracy and wire fraud. Homeland Security agents have questioned former employees of companies associated with Liu, according to people familiar with the investigation.

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