Jakarta. Indonesia may soon join an intergovernmental body called the Financial Action Task Force that seeks to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other global threats involving the global financial system, a senior official at Indonesia's Finance Ministry said in a statement on Sunday (02/07).
Indonesia, along with neighbors Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka, were blacklisted by the FATF in 2012, apparently for not showing enough commitment to execute the organization's action plans.
Back then, the FATF said Indonesia had not done enough to stop terrorism funding and money laundering in or through the country.
Indonesia was removed from the blacklist three years later, with the FATF declaring it has made "significant progress."
"Indonesia's recent request [to join the intergovernmental body] was supported unanimously by 37 FATF members," Nufransa Wira Sakti, the Finance Ministry's communication bureau head, said in the statement.
He said the FATF members acknowledged Indonesia's efforts to fight money laundering and combat funding for terrorism, which served as a strong bargaining chip for its entry to the organization.
The FATF says on its website it has 35 member countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and two regional organizations that represent major financial centers.
FATF President Juan Manuel Vega-Serrano sent an official reply on June 29 to Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati who submitted the membership request to FATF.
The FATF is also known as an international policy-making body that has helped its member countries formulate legislative and regulatory reforms.
"At a plenary meeting in Valencia [Spain] on 21-23 July, I informed members of your letter. I am delighted to inform you that this received unanimous support and that the plenary agreed that membership should be open to Indonesia," Vega-Serrano told Sri Mulyani as quoted in the Finance Ministry statement.
Indonesia's entry to the organization will be officially discussed at the next FATF plenary session in Argentina in October. In the meantime, the fourth most populous nation in the world needs to complete an evaluation process to prove its commitment to FATF, Nufransa said.
Indonesia has also been an active member of The Egmont Group, a global platform to exchange expertise and financial intelligence to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), an international organization that promotes internationally accepted standards against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in March Indonesia is seeking a seat at the organization to obtain FATF's updates first hand.