Regional authorities called to counter terrorism financing


  • Banking
  • Wednesday, 22 Nov 2017

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the risk assessment recommended that countries should actively target the small sub-set of NPOs most vulnerable to terrorism financing

KUALA LUMPUR: The first regional risk assessment of non-profit organisations (NPOs) in eight Asia-Pacific nations has identified a medium risk of terrorism financing.

The risk assessment, launched at the Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit in Kuala Lumpur, has called on regional authorities to improve data collection and sharing nationally and across the region to identify, monitor and disrupt high risk NPOs and also vet personnel to make it harder for terrorists to infiltrate NPO finances.

Jointly launching the research publication, ministers representing financial intelligence agencies from Australia, Indonesia and host nation Malaysia, hailed the ground breaking work, which included analyses from the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and new partners Brunei and New Zealand.

Australian Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter-Terrorism, Michael Keenan, said the assessment was further evidence the annual CTF Summit, now in its third year, was continuing to make strong advances in addressing terrorism threats across the region.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said the risk assessment recommended that countries should actively target the small sub-set of NPOs most vulnerable to terrorism financing and help those organisations to protect themselves from criminal abuse.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Minister Wiranto said that his Government had introduced targeted measures to deregister high risk charities and more closely monitor the NPO sector to mitigate the risks they face. Indonesia is confident its risk level would be re-evaluated to a lower level in the future through great awareness, collaborative financial intelligence efforts and education of the sector.

The assessment also recommends further work be undertaken by participating countries to develop “red flag” indicators of high risk NPO activity to help financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to better detect and respond quickly to suspicious behaviour.

The ministers said they supported further research and evaluation being done through the CTF Summit’s working groups over the next year and to expand the number of participating countries in this work.

The cash intensive nature of NPO finances is recognised around the world as having inherent vulnerabilities about the transparency and tracking of funds.

The highest risks exist within a small sub-set of NPOs whose operations extend into countries and war zones where terrorist groups operate.

The full risk assessment can be found on the CTF Summit website at http://ctf.bnm.gov.my/NPO.html.
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