Wed, 10 Sep 2003

'Terrorists' accounts frozen'

Fabiola Desy Unidjajaand A'an Suryana, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government has begun identifying the bank accounts of seven Indonesian terrorist suspects who are likely to be listed with the United Nations (UN) Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC).

The Indonesians -- Yasin Syawal, Imam Samudra, Mukhlas, Parlindungan Siregar, Aris Munandar, Agus Dwikarna and Fatur Rochman Al-Ghozi -- were among 10 terrorist suspects proposed by the United States to be listed with the CTC.

Washington had frozen the accounts of these individuals and submitted their names to the UN on Friday. Should there be no objection within 72 hours, then all member countries will follow suit.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirajuda said on Tuesday that police and Bank Indonesia (BI) authorities had started monitoring the accounts of the seven suspects and were ready to freeze them if they located them.

"This is a standard procedure for all UN members," Hassan said.

"The police and Bank Indonesia have the details, but I can say that there has been some action to stop the flow of funds to these suspects," he added.

The minister said once the suspects were listed with the CTC, Indonesia was obliged to seek out and freeze their accounts.

"We are not complying with the demands of a certain country, but with the UN, as we are a member of the world organization," Hassan stressed.

The U.S. said over the weekend that the suspects were linked with the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist network, which was enlisted at the CTC in November of last year.

JI has been accused of responsibility for the Oct. 12 Bali bombings last year and the Aug. 5 JW Marriott Hotel bombing in Jakarta.

Under the UN Security Council resolution No.1267/2001, all member countries must freeze the assets and accounts of all organizations and individuals enlisted with the CTC as terrorist suspects.

Indonesia's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Rezlan Izhar Djenie said the CTC was expected to officially announce the inclusion of the seven suspects with CTC on Wednesday.

"Should there be no objections from any member, all member countries will be obliged to freeze the accounts and assets of these individuals starting Wednesday," Rezlan told The Jakarta Post by phone.

The diplomat said that so far there are no instructions from Jakarta to object to Washington's proposal.

Hassan said there had been coordination between the police and Bank Indonesia regarding the accounts.

"It is our obligation to monitor their accounts, to see whether there are flows of funds from outside the country as most of them have been named as terror suspects," Hassan said.

However, Hassan said that he personally doubted whether they had any accounts or assets in the U.S.

"I can hardly imagine that these people from villages have bank accounts in New York," he said.

Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said earlier, that the government was looking at the possibility of freezing their assets.

Thorough investigation by the Indonesian police force, the Attorney General's Office and other related government institutions has already been conducted.

"Those institutions work quickly and once their work is completed they will convey their recommendations to Bank Indonesia," he said.