Volunteers distribute free meals provided by charity organization Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) at Sidoarjo Great Mosque complex in East Java on June 10, 2022. (Antara PhotoUmarul Faruq)

Charity Group ACT under Scrutiny over Fantastic Executives’ Salaries

BY :STEFANI WIJAYA, FANA SUPARMAN

JULY 05, 2022

Jakarta. The anti-money laundering agency and even the counter-terrorism squad Detachment 88 have said they are investigating Muslim charity organization Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) following reports of alleged misappropriations by its executives.

A recent report by Tempo magazine revealed that the group’s founder and former chairman Ahyudin was paid Rp 250 million in monthly salary using the public fund meant for charity.

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Other executives such as vice presidents and directors were entitled to a monthly salary of between Rp 50 million and Rp 150 million.

The group managed Rp 540 billion of public funds between 2018 and 2020. ACT also received Rp 135 billion in funding from U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing to build 91 school buildings as compensation for the October 28, 2018 fatal flight of a Lion Air plane, according to Tempo.

Sources told the magazine that part of Boeing's money was used in another ACT spending unrelated to the compensation program.

The Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) said on Monday they have received reports from financial institutions on suspicious transactions from ACT accounts.

“There are indications of personal interests and alleged illegal activities,” PPATK Head Ivan Yustiavandana said of ACT bank transfers.

Ivan implied that the alleged illegal activities involved terrorism funding but he didn’t go into details because the agency has no authority to launch a criminal investigation.

The agency also found that ACT had transferred money to a foreign country but Ivan declined to elaborate.

Chief Comr. Aswin Siregar, a senior officer with Detachment 88, confirmed on Tuesday investigation into alleged terrorism funding by ACT is underway.

The bombshell report also reached the House of Representatives, where a Muslim figure called on the government to terminate ACT licenses.

“Public funding collected in the name of humanitarian assistance and religious charity should not be used against the will of donors,” said Maman Imanulhaq, a lawmaker for the National Awakening Party (PKB). 

“There is concern that charity organizations like ACT are committed to unjust activities that really hurt human values,” he said.

ACT has claimed that they channeled humanitarian assistance to Palestine and helped collect funds for the construction of a mosque in Australia.

The organization often visited disaster victims and advertised on social media websites to collect donations.

However, the Tempo report said that ACT took a huge share of the fund in the absence of a transparent funding system.

Ahyudin told the magazine he was “forced to resign” on January 11 by other executives but denied any wrongdoing.

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