EUR 21 million of Belgian money spent on phone tapping in 2008
The justice department devoted EUR 21 million to listening to telephone conversations last year. According to Brice de Ruyver, professor of criminology, “police can no longer lead the struggle against crime without phone tapping”.
The professor confirmed that it is an expensive process and that it requires specialised personnel.
Strictly speaking the actual phone tapping system only costs EUR 4 million.
Then EUR 17 million must be added for court costs, the recording of incoming and outgoing phone traffic, the activation of listening, observation and identification of suspect telephone numbers, and other administrative costs. EUR 3 million is spent on translation.
Professor Ruyver said that the considerable amount spent listening to telephone activity had often been discussed at the heart of the police force.
“But we have since arrived at the conclusion that we cannot do without this tool. Phone tapping is one of the most effective ways of dismantling rebel groups, fighting against drug trafficking and terrorism, and keeping an eye on extremist personalities,” he added.