FBI honours French police for arresting Luxembourg ex-spy
Two officers of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation visited the French police in Nancy on Thursday to thank them for arresting former Luxembourg intelligence officer Frank Schneider, French media have reported.
The two FBI agents, one an official representative in France, the other a liaison officer at the French embassy in Paris, exchanged gifts and medals as a sign of recognition of the arrest of Schneider, who is mentioned as a co-conspirator in a cryptocurrency scam in a US court.
Nancy prosecutor Jean-Jacques Bosc on Friday confirmed to the Luxembourg Times that Schneider had been arrested at the behest of US authorities and was currently being held in detention pending an extradition request.
A photo on the website of French public radio station France Bleu shows seven men - some carrying guns - posing in front of French and US flags. The faces of all but one of them are blurred out.
"The cooperation with the US is very smooth, particularly in matters such as terrorism or organised crime," Maurice Alibert of the French criminal police was quoted as saying by the radio station. Schneider - only referred to as Frank S. by the radio station - was held in the Nancy-Maxéville prison.
Schneider, who is also a defendant in a Luxembourg court case over how former Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker handled the intelligence service SREL, was arrested near the Luxembourg border on 29 April.
Court documents from the US show that Schneider is alleged to be a co-conspirator in the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, which is said to have defrauded customers around the globe for around $4 billion.
According to French public radio, the US has until 28 June to submit its extradition request to the prosecution in Nancy. An investigation by the Luxembourg Times has found that Schneider's private intelligence company Sandstone had vetted clients for the European Investment Bank.