CANBERRA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Australia and Indonesia's financial intelligence agencies have signed an agreement which will result in a joint approach to stopping terrorism financing and money laundering, Australia's Justice Minister said on Wednesday.
According to the minister Michael Keenan, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) and the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center of Indonesia (PPATK) have joined forces on a new "six pronged" attack on terror funding and money laundering, in an agreement worth around 380 million U.S dollars.
The six projects include the deployment of Australian IT specialists to Indonesia to bolster the PPATK's analysis systems, workshops on counterterror and financial crime and exchange programs to bring AUSTRAC knowledge to the PPTAK.
The Justice Minister said counterterror efforts were not just limited to finding and stopping terrorists. He said money laundering and terrorism funding were two of the biggest issues facing counterintelligence agencies in 2017.
"Whether it is a lone-actor, a coordinated attack, or a foreign fighter -- none of these deplorable acts would be possible without money," Keenan said in a statement.
"Our ability to combat terrorism financing is only as strong as our weakest link. It is crucial we work with our regional partners to enforce strong prevention measures and enhance financial intelligence collaboration as a priority," he said.
"It is critical that Australia works closely with our international partners to ensure our region doesn't become a haven for cybercrime. This initiative will enhance cyber cooperation between our two countries to help track laundered proceeds of crime and online terrorism financing," he added.
AUSTRAC's CEO Paul Jevtovic said the new agreement would help the Indonesian government strengthen its anti-money laundering and terror financing capabilities.
"Australia and Indonesia have forged a close and collaborative relationship to combat terrorism financing, and this new Partnership Program will only strengthen this," Jevtovic said.
In a statement, the Justice Department said Indonesia was "one of Australia's most important strategic partners, particularly on national security."
"The Australian government remains committed to continuing our close and effective partnership," it said. Enditem