Islamic militants used bitcoin and PayPal to fund terror acts

Crime | January 11, 2017 By:

Islamic militants are using bitcoin and online-payment services such as PayPal to fund terrorism in Indonesia, according to the head of a financial transaction and reporting agency.

Officials with Pusat Pelaporan dan Analisis Transaksi Keuangan (PPATK), an independent agency established in 2002 that enforces the country’s anti-money laundering (AML) laws, gave the remarks at a public hearing centered on the agency’s performance in 2016.

There, Ivan Yustiavandana, director for examination and research at PPATK, said he believes the use of bitcoin is linked to the preference these groups have shown for technologically sophisticated payment methods.

The agency detected more than twice as many fraudulent transactions linked to terrorism in 2016 from the prior year, advancing from 12 to 25 cases, causing the agency to tighten its scrutiny of financial transactions from overseas.

Mr Ivan Yustiavandana, director for examination and research at PPATK, told reporters in a doorstop interview that the culprits are trying to move funds around outside the conventional banking system to avoid detection.

“Today we are talking about PayPal, bitcoin. Two to three years from now, we may talk about other means, new ways. The more sophisticated we are at getting them, the more they will try to look for new ways,” he said.