State Security authorities entered an agreement with the National Bank of Belgium (BNB) which allows them to access bank accounts opened in every financial institution in the country, according to information published by dailies L’Echo and De Tidj and confirmed by VSSE (State Security) in a press release. Access to foreign bank accounts mentioned by Belgians in their tax returns is also guaranteed, highlight the dailies.
The memorandum of understanding details how VSSE can request information to BNB’s PCC (Central Point of Contact), adds the press release.
“According to legislation on intelligence and security services, VSSE can ask PCC which institution someone who for example has links with terrorists banks with. VSSE then knows exactly which bank to turn to for more information and there is no need to make demands on every bank.”
Once this first step is taken, VSSE “can request more information on the individual’s bank balances and movements. To achieve this, they need to be specifically approved by an administrative committee made up of three magistrates. Each request for similar information is also supervised by the R standing committee (a control organisation of the intelligence services).”