EU wants to track cash in terrorism probes

July 13, 2011 06:09


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BRUSSELS - Credit card companies such as Mastercard and Visa may be forced to share transaction data with European Union authorities under plans to investigate terrorism financing in Europe, due to be presented on Wednesday.

The EU's executive Commission is set to unveil plans for a mechanism to collect and monitor financial information linked to terrorism suspects that would mirror similar efforts in the United States, EU officials said.

Like their US counterparts, EU investigators would rely largely on data about bank transfers, collected by companies such as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

But EU officials say the scope of the program could be extended to other sources of information about cash used by people suspected of terrorist activities, such as credit-card or money transfer companies.

"Other providers can also include credit companies," one Commission official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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