Police find alms boxes allegedly used by militant group

The National Police have said 20,068 alms boxes in 12 regions were used to raise money and fund activities for the Jaamah Islamiyah terrorist group.

The boxes were from the Abdurrachman Bin Auf (ABA) charity foundation, National Police spokesman Insp Gen Argo Yuwono said.

“We learnt of the number of alms boxes based on information from a suspect named Fitria Sanjaya, also known as Acil, ” he said on Thursday as reported by tribunnews.com.

The arrested suspect was a member of the foundation, he added.

Most of the alms boxes were found in Lampung province with 6,000 boxes, followed by 4,000 boxes in North Sumatra, 2,000 in Yogyakarta, 2,000 in Magetan and 2,500 in Malang, East Java.

Boxes were also found in Jakarta, Central Java’s Pati, Semarang, Pati, Temanggung and Surakarta and Ambon in Maluku.

Argo further said that the group had started distributing boxes because it was limited in operational fund sources.

The organisation aimed to raise money from the public through the charity boxes and religious gatherings.

“Jamaah Islamiyah is trying to get involved with the public as it becomes more difficult for them to collect donations from its members, ” he said.

National Police spokesperson Brig Gen Awi Setyono said on Nov 30 that the alms boxes were among sources of funding for the group besides a company belonging to JI’s members.

“We found that these boxes were misused and were placed in convenience stores across Indonesia, ” Awi said

The funds were allegedly used for various purposes, from sending JI members to Syria to purchasing weapons and explosives.

Argo said there were ways for people to recognise the alms boxes linked to JI.

“The first characteristic is that some of the boxes are made of glass with aluminium frames, found in Jakarta, Lampung, Malang, Surabaya, Temanggung, Yogyakarta and Semarang, ” Argo said.

“Glass boxes with wooden frames are found in Solo (Surakarta), North Sumatra, Pati, Magetan and Ambon.” — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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