A French politician alerted police to a Muslim woman wearing a black niqab in Paris, in breach of a controversial law banning face-covering veils.

Nadine Morano, a prominent member of the centre-right UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) party, said she walked into the woman upon arriving at Paris Est train station.

The 51-year-old Member of the EU Parliament (MEP) wrote on Facebook that she could not tell if the Islam faithful was a man or a woman as "he/she" was covered from head to toe "with only the eyes left exposed".

"I reminded [them] that such [an] outfit is banned in France and that he or she had to uncover her face to walk in public areas," Morano wrote.

The woman, who had most likely just arrived in Paris as Morano said she was carrying luggage, ignored the female politician and walked away "in total disregard".

"I reported her presence to police," Morano said.

The MEP claimed that face-covering veils pose a security threat to the public, as they conceal identity.

"It's allowed to be suspicious when [a person] hides," she wrote. "Our vigilance must be flawless in this period of radicalization of communal behaviours and of jihadi indoctrination".

According to a police report on the incident published by France Blue radio, Morano went berserk as police officers didn't recognise her and failed to stop the veiled woman.

Described in the report as "extremely aggressive and very nervous", the MEP allegedly asked police if they ever watched television. "I'm a minister!" she shouted, according to the report

Morano served as minister for Family Affairs and later for Apprenticeship and Professional Formation under the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Under a law that came into effect in 2011 in France, women who cover their faces in a number of public spaces, such as in the street, can be fined up to €150 ($205) or be obliged to attend a citizenship class, or both.

The European Court of Human Rights recently dismissed a complaint that the rule breached freedom of religious rights, maintaining that covering one's face in public can be considered an anti-social behaviour.

France is home to about five million Muslims - the largest Muslim population in Western Europe - but it is estimated that only about 2,000 women wear full veils.

Almost 1,000 French citizens are said to be involved in Islamist movements in Syria and Iraq - with 350 already on site, 170 in transit to the area, and 230 attempting to leave, according to government figures released in September 2014.