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3 Indonesian maids working in Singapore charged with terrorism financing

SINGAPORE — Three Indonesian maids were charged in court on Wednesday (Oct 23) for collecting or providing money, or both, for the purpose of facilitating terrorist acts, the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

The Islamic State logo is depicted on a wall in Grogol, Central Java, in a file photo from 2014.

The Islamic State logo is depicted on a wall in Grogol, Central Java, in a file photo from 2014.

SINGAPORE — Three Indonesian maids were charged in court on Wednesday (Oct 23) for collecting or providing money, or both, for the purpose of facilitating terrorist acts, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

In a press statement, the MHA said that the three women — 36-year-old Retno Hernayani, 33-year-old Anindia Afiyantari and 31-year-old Turmini — were investigated by the Internal Security Department and issued with detention orders last month for supporting the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) and the Indonesia-based Isis-affiliated group Jemaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD).

The three had been working in Singapore for the past six to 13 years.

According to the MHA, a parallel investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force found that between September 2018 and July 2019, all three women had allegedly collected and provided monies on several occasions to individuals in Indonesia.

These funds were believed to have been used to facilitate terrorist acts overseas, said the MHA.

BREAKDOWN OF THE FUNDS COLLECTED

  • Retno Hernayani collected a total of S$100 on two occasions between March and April 2019, and provided a total of S$140 on two occasions during the same period

  • Anindia Afiyantari provided a total of S$130 on five occasions between February and July 2019

  • Turmini provided a total of 13 million Indonesian rupiah (approximately S$1,200) on five occasions between September 2018 and May 2019.

If convicted, the detention orders against the three will be cancelled, and they will serve the imprisonment terms imposed by the court, said the MHA.

FIRST DOMESTIC HELPERS GIVEN DETENTION ORDERS

Arrested in August, the three women are the first domestic helpers here to be given detention orders under the Internal Security Act, Singapore’s main national-security law.

They were radicalised last year after they had viewed Isis-related material online, the MHA had previously said. They also became convinced that the group was fighting for Islam and that its use of violence against “infidels” was justified.

The trio, who joined pro-Isis social-media chat groups and channels, were drawn to violent visuals, such as Isis’ bomb attacks and beheading videos.

Anindia and Retno first met at a social gathering in Singapore on their days off. Turmini then connected with them via social media.

STRONG STANCE AGAINST TERRORISM

The MHA said that terrorism and its financing represent a “grave threat” to domestic and international security, and global action is required to deprive terrorist groups of funding and materials.

“Singapore is part of this global effort and is strongly committed to combating terrorism financing, regardless of whether the monies are used to facilitate terrorist acts locally or abroad,” said the ministry.

The MHA reminded members of the public not to remit money or provide any support through the provision of services, supplies or any material to a terrorist organisation, or for facilitating or carrying out any terrorist act.

Anyone convicted of the offence of providing property and services for terrorist purposes shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, a fine not exceeding S$500,000, or both.

Related topics

domestic helper Indonesia ISIS terrorism radical

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