Australian Charity Donations Supporting Terrorism in Indonesia
5 January 2016 at 10:18 am
The Indonesian Government has intercepted more than $500,000 in charitable donations that were raised in Australia and allegedly transferred to Jakarta with the intention of training terrorists.
Indonesia’s Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) worked with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) to capture the money, which was reportedly raised by one Australian man.
PPATK Chairman Muhammad Yusuf told the Jakarta Post that between 2010 and 2015 authorities identified 45 money transfers, totaling 5 billion rupiah (A$500,000) in donations, which were allegedly being used to support terrorists and their families.
Yusuf said that an Australian and Indonesian investigation found that a man identified only as “L” had raised the money to fund terrorism activities in Indonesia.
“We have identified that the money [from Australia] came from alms and donations from individuals in the country. Some of them were aware of what the money was for but some were not because they just gave away the money believing that it was for charity,” Yusuf said.
Deputy Chairman of the PPATK, Agus Santoso, confirmed that the money had been raised by an Australian man.
"The money was used for: one, to recruit people; secondly to fund training; thirdly to buy weapons, and the fourth is to give livelihood for the terrorists' family because the money goes to support the families of the terrorists who died,” Santoso said.
“The transfers from abroad were channeled to one individual in Indonesia and then later that particular Indonesian funneled the funds to other individuals linked to terror activities in Indonesia.”
Santoso said that in addition to Australia, countries from the Middle East had also channeled terror funds to Indonesia.
He said that the PPATK had frozen 13 bank accounts that had received funds from Middle Eastern countries.
Last year Australia’s national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) issued a warning after a report by AUSTRAC found that some Australian-based charities and Not for Profits have been exploited by terrorist groups to raise money to fund their activities.
AUSTRAC said at the time that a “handful" of charities and NFPs had been used to disguise international funds transfers to high-risk regions.