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More than half of ACT donations went into execs' pockets, investigators say

Jakarta Post - August 5, 2022

News Desk, Jakarta – The state-run Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) has found that more than half of the Rp 1.7 trillion (US$113.9 million) in charitable donations collected by popular humanitarian organization Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) was transferred to entities affiliated with its executives and used for private profit.

"We found that more than 50 percent of the funds flowed to foundation entities affiliated with private parties," PPATK chief Ivan Yustiavandana said, as quoted by Tempo on Thursday.

The foundations, according to Ivan, managed the money for profit and those profits went to the foundations' owners. Portions of the funds were also used to purchase property and other assets.

Last month, the police named four top ACT executives suspects for several charges, including embezzlement and money laundering. They were ACT founder and chairman Ahyudin, foundation board members Heryana Hermain and Novariadi Imam Akbari and ACT president Ibnu Hajar.

The PPATK, Ivan said, would continue investigating the case. He noted that it was likely that ACT had managed more than Rp 1.7 trillion.

The government agency has submitted its findings to the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) and the Social Affairs Ministry.

The police have said they are looking into at least three possible crimes.

The first is the alleged embezzlement of compensation funds for the families of victims of the deadly Lion Air flight JT-610 crash. Some families had donated the funds to ACT.

The aircraft, a brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8, crashed into the Java Sea on Oct. 29, 2018, shortly after taking off for a flight from Jakarta to the Bangka Belitung Islands, killing all 189 passengers and crew members on board.

The second possible crime is the misuse of charitable funds, as reported by the PPATK.

The third is the ACT's alleged use of shell corporations for money-laundering purposes.

A broad investigation into the nonprofit was opened following a July 2 Tempo expose that alleged that ACT had misappropriated charitable funds for the benefit of top executives and for expenses unrelated to the organization's philanthropic activities.

ACT is one of the country's largest charities, having collected Rp 519 billion (US$6.7 million) in donations in 2020 alone.

Last month, PPATK froze 60 accounts affiliated with the organization at 33 financial institutions.

The Social Affairs Ministry has also revoked ACT's charitable collection license, contending that the charity had violated a stipulation that licensed entities could use no more than 10 percent of their charitable funds to cover operating costs. (dre)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2022/08/05/more-than-half-of-act-donations-went-into-execs-pockets-investigators-say.htm