Indonesia freezes funds of NGO accused of financing al-Qaeda
The Social Affairs minister’s decision follows a number of probes that began in 2018. At least 19 suspects were arrested. The charity’s executives spent sums on houses and cars, weekly reports.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Indonesian government froze the funds of Aksi Cepat Tanggap[*] (ACT), a non-profit organisation accused of raising funds for the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
Social Affairs Minister Muhadjir Effendi took the decision “as a deterrent against any potential case" of terrorist financing. His ministry is responsible for charities.
All transactions by ACT on its 60 bank accounts have been suspended, the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK[†]) reports.
“Based on our analysis and investigation coordinated with other (security) agencies, we suspect ACT breached the law,” said PPATK chief aid Ivan Yustiavandana.
The charity had been under investigation since 2018. Some 19 Indonesian suspected of ties with terrorist groups were arrested by Turkish authorities in connection with the case. They allegedly moved funds worth more than €500,000 (US$ 510,000).
Indonesian weekly Tempo, which broke the news, reported this week that ACT executives spent a large part of the donations the charity received on cars and homes.
Last week, ACT president lbnu Khajar acknowledged that his organisation’s operating costs were 13.7 per cent of total budget. Under Indonesian, charities’ operating costs cannot exceed 10 per cent.
[*] Fast Action Response.
[†] Pusat Pelaporan dan Analisis Transaksi Keuangan.