There is no proof of a connection between the certification of halal food and the funding of terrorist organizations, the Australian financial watchdog group Austrac has announced in response to an Australian Senate inquiry on the matter.
The investigation was launched earlier this year, after the Australian government received “submissions alleging money paid to organizations or companies that certify halal food ends up in the hands of terrorists,” according to the Australian broadcasting network SBS.
Food that has been certified halal, or lawful, must be processed in compliance with Islamic law. The inquiry reportedly also reviewed the certification process of kosher and organic foods.
Despite the accusations, there is no evidence that certification fees have been used to fund terrorist groups, Austrac, which investigates money laundering, told the Senate on Thursday, September 24. “Austrac monitors reported financial transactions, including reports of suspicious financial activity and related transaction, to identify money movements that are associated with halal certification,” explained Angela Jamieson, the acting deputy chief executive of Austrac. However, “of the information identified from this monitoring of reported financial transactions, none of these have been assessed as relating to funding terrorism with regard to halal certification fees.”
Later in the hearing, the Australian Crime Commission added, “Since this issue was highlighted in the press, we’ve been on a heightened lookout for any links between halal certification in our intelligence holdings. To date, we have not found a direct link.”