Bank accounts of hardline Islamic party FPI seized in Indonesia

The bank accounts of the hard-line Islamist group Islamic Defenders Front (Indonesian: Front Pembela Islam, abbreviated as FPI), have been seized by Indonesian authorities. Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) public affairs unit head Natsir Kongah has said that the accounts of the FPI were seized was in line with a 2010 law on money laundering and a 2013 law on the prevention and eradication of terrorism funding. 

“We have decided to suspend any transaction and activities coming from the accounts of the FPI and its affiliations to support an analysis and financial investigation into suspicious transactions, with indications of money laundering or connection to other crimes,” Natsir said. 

On December 30,  2020, Indonesia banned the FPI. The FPI believes that seven decades after Indonesia gained its independence in 1945, it has strayed away from Islamic to secularist principles, which contributes to the rise of immorality within the Indonesian society, from political corruption to increased crime and drug usages. The FPI has campaigned for the enactment of local Shariah regulations throughout Indonesia.

Muhammad Rizieq Shihab, an Indonesian hard-line Islamist scholar and the founder and leader of FPI, returned to Indonesia on November 10 after three years of self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia.  The return of Rizieq was seen as a threat, likely to mobilise the hard-line Islamic groups in Indonesia.  After his arrest and the subsequent banning of the FPI along with a fund seizure, there is a possibility of a simmering discontentment among these hard-line Islamic groups. 

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