The Australian and Indonesian governments are joining forces on a new six-pronged approach to cut the financial lifelines that enable terrorists.
Today, Australia and Indonesia’s financial intelligence agencies, AUSTRAC and PPATK, signed an agreement to target counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering.
The PPATK-AUSTRAC Partnership Program 2017 builds on a seven year collaboration, and includes almost $500,000 in DFAT funding for six new projects including:
• Deploying IT specialists to strengthen the PPATK’s reporting and analysis systems;
• Intensive workshops on crimes specific to counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering to enhance investigative and analytic capabilities within the PPATK; and
• Exchange programs to enable PPATK experts to learn first-hand from AUSTRAC.
Minister Keenan said money laundering and terrorism financing is a global issue that challenges countries across the world.
“Whether it is a lone-actor, a coordinated attack, or a foreign fighter – none of these deplorable acts would be possible without money,” he said.
“Our ability to combat terrorism financing is only as strong as our weakest link. It is crucial we work with our regional partners to enforce strong prevention measures and enhance financial intelligence collaboration as a priority.”
AUSTRAC CEO Paul Jevtovic said the Partnership Program would support the Indonesian Government to further strengthen its anti-money laundering and terror financing capabilities.
“Australia and Indonesia have forged a close and collaborative relationship to combat terrorism financing, and this new Partnership Program will only strengthen this,” Mr Jevtovic said.
In addition, AUSTRAC and PPATK will launch a new cyber project later this year, to enhance Indonesia’s capabilities to meet the increasing online threat.
Mr Jevtovic said this would allow for the increased sharing of financial intelligence, which would build a regional understanding of money movements online by terrorist groups and criminals.
“This will improve our ability to prevent the use of cyberspace by terrorists groups and criminals, as well as contribute to educating the community about such risks,” Mr Jevtovic said.
Minister Keenan said detecting and disrupting illegal operations including terror financing is increasingly being fought online.
“Evolving technology means we will see more change in the next decade than we have in the past 40 years when it comes to combatting terrorism financing,” Mr Keenan said.
“It is critical that Australia works closely with our international partners to ensure our region doesn’t become a haven for cybercrime.
“This initiative will enhance cyber cooperation between our two countries to help track laundered proceeds of crime and online terrorism financing.”
Indonesia remains one of Australia’s most important strategic partners, particularly on national security. The Australian Government remains committed to continuing our close and effective partnership.
Since August 2014, the Australian Government has invested $1.3 billion to support Australia’s efforts to combat terrorism, including $20 million to AUSTRAC to detect and disrupt terror financing.