By Matthew Roscoe • 15 December 2020 • 18:39
CHARITY watchdog gives registered charities almost £200,000 (€221,000) from a pair who set up fundraising pages after a Charity Commission inquiry, published on Tuesday, December 15, was highly critical of the money they raised for Rohingya refugees.
The Commission, which could not show how all funds were used, has redistributed approximately £196,000 (€217,000) of the money Mr Mohammed Hasnath and Ms Ruksana Ali (the former trustees) raised and both have been removed as trustees from the fund and disqualified.
The former trustees operated two online fundraising platforms, creating a fund for Rohingya refugees. Whilst they never registered the fund as a charity, its stated purpose made it charitable under the law.
In 2018, the Commission uncovered the fund and that its trustees were asking for donations to their personal bank accounts. Information on the platforms showed over £200,000 had been donated to the fund.
The Commission opened a statutory inquiry, finding:
• there were no governance or financial controls in place to protect and apply the funds raised
• funds had been transferred into six personal bank accounts and a PayPal account, mixing it with personal money already in these accounts
• £68,748.81 (€75,975.68) of charitable funds could not be properly accounted for and was likely to have been used as non-charitable private expenditure by the former trustees
• there was insufficient evidence of activity by the charitable fund
The former trustees’ failure to implement any governance or financial controls made it impossible for them to ensure that charitable funds were protected or applied and this amounts to misconduct and/or mismanagement.
Both were disqualified from acting as trustees or holding a senior management function at a charity.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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