The finance ministry of France wants new powers to track the bank accounts of people who have come under the suspicion of the intelligence agencies, they say, to combat terrorist financing.
The French government said they will propose new measures in January to strengthen the powers of Tracfin, the anti-money laundering agency of the finance ministry, giving it the ability to access to the financial dealings of anyone listed on a database of persons wanted by police.
The database is called the FPR and includes some 10,500 persons designated Fiches S, a label given to those under suspicion without having committed any crimes.
The use of the term ‘radicalised’ is included in the grab for power, also included persons who pose a ‘potential’ threat, such as organised criminals and perhaps those deemed the ‘alternative media’. The draft appears to include persons not under full-time surveillance because of the manpower numbers.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy said those on the list should be electronically tagged.
Finance minister Michel Sapin, said on Monday :
“There is to be an initiative to improve the supervision of prepaid bank cards, which played a role in the preparation of the attacks of November 13.”
“The cards work like common credit cards, except they are more difficult to track because they do not require identification of their user. Under current rules, single-use cards of up to 250 and those that are refilled up to a total value of 2,500 a year do not require users to show identification. This is set to be tightened in the first quarter of 2016. The struggle against terrorism’s first and foremost [for us] a struggle against it’s financingÂ
These prepaid cards are issued abroad, and used in France at random or to pay for hotel rooms, said Bruno Dalles, the head of Tracfin, referring to the hotel rooms where the Paris terrorists slept the night before the attack.”
It is used in the underground economy, in organised crime,
“Tracfin will be able to freeze bank deposits, property and welfare payments of those who attempt, or have committed, acts of terror.
We have received messages of sympathy and support of our colleagues abroad, but now we must go beyond the emotion, he said.
He also demanded better access for Europeans to data on the Swift transactions system, which accounts for over 90 per cent of international money transfers but is controlled from the United States.
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