Jakarta. Indonesian and Australian officials signed an agreement on Wednesday (01/02) to target money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
The agreement involves closer cooperation between Indonesia's Financial Transactions Report and Analysis Center (PPATK) and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (Austrac).
The announcement of this strategic partnership between the two financial intelligence agencies comes after the recent suspension of military cooperation between the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the Australian Defense Force.
The PPATK-Austrac Partnership Program 2017 is a seven-year collaboration, which will see the Australian and Indonesian governments join forces in a new six-pronged approach to cut terrorists' financial lifelines.
This will include the deployment of information technology specialists to strengthen the PPATK's report and analysis systems, and exchange programs to enable PPATK experts to learn first-hand from Austrac.
Money laundering and terrorism financing have become global issues that challenge countries across the world.
Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan emphasized that deplorable acts of terrorism are not possible without money, whether it involves a lone perpetrator, a coordinated attack, or foreign fighters.
"Our ability to combat terrorism financing is only as strong as our weakest link. It is crucial that we work with our regional partners to enforce strong preventative measures and enhance financial intelligence collaboration as a priority," Keenan said in a press release.
The partnership program will help the Indonesian government to strengthen its anti-money laundering and terror financing capabilities. The PPATK and Austrac will launch a new cyber project later this year aimed at enhancing Indonesia's capabilities in combating cybercrime and other online threats.
The various approaches are expected to allow for increased sharing of financial intelligence, thus building a regional understanding of how terror groups and criminals channel money online.
This timely effort is considered an effective response to evolving technology and the increasing threat of cybercrime.
"This will improve our ability to prevent the use of cyberspace by terror groups and criminals, as well as contribute to educating the community about such risks," Austrac chief executive Paul Jevtovic said.
Keenan, who also acts as the minister assisting the prime minister on counterterrorism in Australia, said cooperation with his country's international partners, such as Indonesia, are critical to ensure that the region does not become a haven for cybercrime.
Indonesia and Australia are strategic partners, especially in matters of national security. The Australian government has said that it is committed to continue this close and effective partnership.