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Paris terrorists needed just €30,000 for assault

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Paris terrorists needed just €30,000 for assault
12:54 CET+01:00
France on Thursday said the Paris attacks are likely to have cost no more than €30,000 ($32,000) to organise.
The attackers financed the assault by amassing several "tiny sums" which are hard to track, notably by using prepaid credit cards, Finance Minister Michel Sapin told a news conference.
   
"The cost of these latest attacks, the financing of the attacks, represents a sum not exceeding €30,000," Sapin said.
   
This means the attackers did not need to move any large sums of money during their preparations, he said.
   
The French finance ministry's intelligence unit Tracfin said prepaid cards, some bought in Belgium, were used to pay for cars and apartments used by the assailants in the 48 hours preceding the attacks.
   
Sapin said tracking even small sums could turn out to be "crucial" in the fight against terror, if such data were cross-referenced with other parts of any investigation.
   
As part of efforts to improve surveillance of funds potentially used in future attack plans, France is to give Tracfin easier access to suspects' files.
 
On Wednesday French Finance Minister Michel Sapin urged Europe to stem terrorist financing through closer coordination on freezing assets as well as enforcing tighter checks on the import of art works.
 
During his visit to Berlin, Sapin outlined potential anti-terror funding measures that he wants EU ministers to consider when they meet next week.
 
Combatting the financing of terror has gained new impetus following the deadly November 13th attacks in Paris which claimed 130 lives.
 
Sapin said Europe needs to look not just at freezing bank accounts of individuals suspected of committing or planning acts of terror.
 
It also needs to target assets including "buildings, vehicles" and even "social allocations".
 
Any freeze should also be valid across Europe to prevent suspects from sidestepping the ban.
 
Sapin noted that there is a lot of talk "regarding financing through oil sales but not enough on the sale of art works".
 
A "harmonisation of checks on the import of these objects" is necessary because "in our developed countries, people buy -- sometimes unknowingly, objects stolen by Daesh," said Sapin, using another name for the Islamic State group.
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