Improved supervision of amounts paid into “prison” accounts

Jean-Jacques De Gucht

Belgium’s prisons will now supervise more closely the origin of sums of money paid into the individual accounts, which such prisons open for every prisoner, with a high-street bank.

This emerges from the written response by the Minister of Justice, Koen Geens (Flemish Christian Democrats) to questions put by the senator Jean-Jacques De Gucht (Open VLD).

Indeed it seems that organisations and individuals have made donations to prisoners for terrorist ends.

Mr Geens says, “These organisations support prisoners by small donations, moral support and the provision of books. As the amounts are very low, sometimes barely ten euros, and serve to bring comfort to some prisoners, our hands are tied when it comes to taking action to stop the donations.”

However, Geens stresses that particular attention will now be paid to these payments.

The Prisons Supervision Division is drawing up a procedure to this end. Prisons are to indicate suspicious transactions to the Financial Information Processing Unit (known as the “CTIF”). One of the CTIF’s briefs is fighting terrorism. Moreover, the Prisons Supervision Division has access to the database of terrorist suspects.

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