in cash are widely used in the financing of terrorist
activities," the Commission's proposal
context, the relevance of potential upper limits to cash
payments could also be explored. Several Member States have
in place prohibitions for cash payments above a specific
On the heels of
the European Central Bank's
discontinuation of the €500 note, the Commission's plan
would drastically scale back civilians' ability to conduct
transactions using currency - and, by default, will allow banks
and the State further means to track individuals via bank cards.
Inception Impact Assessment,
the important feature of offering anonymity to transactions.
Such anonymity may be desired for legitimate reason (e.g.
protection of privacy).
anonymity can also be misused for money laundering and
terrorist financing purposes.
possibility to conduct large cash payments facilitates money
laundering and terrorist financing activities because of the
difficulty to control cash payment transactions."
In other words,
because criminals and terrorists use paper currency, the ability
for law-abiding citizens to conduct anonymous transactions with
cash must be curtailed.
For any number
of reasons - not the least of which is the laughable presumption
terrorists would just walk into a store and purchase big ticket
tools of the trade - this assessment fails the sniff test.
moving away from the use of physical currency
constitutes a veritable jackpot for the West's Surveillance
State, and presents myriad possibilities for abuse by the
European Commission and member governments.
How long will
it be, after all, before such restrictions extend to
transactions of lesser sums?
restrictions to cash payments would be a means to fight
criminal activities entailing large payment transactions in
cash by organized criminal networks," the plan states.
"Restricting large payments in cash, in addition to cash
declarations and other AML obligations, would hamper the
operation of terrorist networks, and other criminal
activities, i.e. have a preventive effect.
also facilitate further investigations to track financial
transactions in the course of terrorist activities."
the proposal repeatedly proffers the preventive effect made
possible through prohibitions on large cash transactions,
evidence supporting that theory is glaringly absent.
investigations are hindered as cash payments transactions
restrictions on cash payments would facilitate
investigations. However, as cash transactions are moved to
the financial system, it is essential that financial
institutions have adequate controls and procedures in place
that enable them to know the person with whom they are
due diligence on new and existing customers is a key part of
these controls in, line with the AMLD [Anti-Money Laundering
use cash to sustain their illegal activities, not only for
illegal transactions (e.g. the acquisition of explosives)
but also for payments which are in appearance legal (e.g.
transactions for accommodation or transport).
restriction on payments in cash would certainly be ignored
for transactions that are in any case already illegal, the
restriction could create a significant hindrance to the
conduct of transactions that are ancillary to terrorist
Commission's own language evinces a degree of doubt as to
whether such a plan would work, saying only,
restriction could create a significant hindrance" to
pointed out by Sovereign Man's Simon Black,
restricting large-sum cash dealings might have the opposite
effect on crime:
examine countries with very low denominations of cash, the
opposite holds true: crime rates, and in particular
organized crime rates, are extremely high.
Venezuela, Nigeria, Brazil, South Africa, etc. Organized
crime is prevalent. Yet each of these has a currency whose
maximum denomination is less than $30.
trend holds true when looking at corruption and tax
European Commission still asserts,
crime and terrorism financing rely on cash for payments for
carrying out their illegal activities and benefitting from
restricting the possibilities to use cash, the proposal
would contribute to disrupt the financing of terrorism, as
the need to use non anonymous means of payment would either
deter the activity or contribute to its easier detection and
most astonishing and erroneous assumption in the plan is that
terrorists and criminals will suddenly abide the law - as if
malicious groups would surmise,
damn, large cash transactions aren't possible, so I guess
we'll have to find another line of work.'
several examples of countries who have taken the leap away from
paper currency only to be hit with soaring crime rates.
banning or severely limiting paper currency is ineffective at
what governments claim such programs are intended to do, as
line, the political and financial establishments want you to
willingly get on board with the idea of abolishing, or at
least reducing, cash […]
put, the data doesn't support their assertion. It's just
another hoax that will give them more power at the expense
of your privacy and freedom."
spend, as one desires, on what one chooses comprises such a
basic right, governments have had to propagate a massive
campaign to conflate physical money with the criminal element -
because the reality is, everyone uses paper currency - even if
the Commission disagrees:
being allowed to pay in cash does not constitute a
fundamental right, the objective of the initiative, which is
to prevent the anonymity that cash payments allow, might be
viewed as an infringement of the right to privacy enshrined
in Article 7 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights […]
also be observed that national restrictions to cash payments
were never successfully challenged based on an infringement
to fundamental rights."
It might seem
convenient to gradually abolish paper currency in favor of, for
instance, a bank or other card for all transactions, but the
brutal truth of a cashless society is the heaviest hand of the
State in our private lives...