21 February 2013
“The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales today welcomed the guilty verdicts in this case. The court heard how the charity’s name and fundraising materials had been used to fraudulently fundraise for terrorist purposes.
This is a clear signal to those who abuse the name of legitimate charities and deceive the public who want to give money to good causes that they will be caught and brought to justice.
It is abhorrent that these people abused the name and reputation of the registered charity, Muslim Aid, in this way and tricked the public who gave money to these men thinking it would go to the charity and be used to help people in need. Unfortunately, charities can fall victim to fraudulent individuals which is why it is critical that trustees put in place necessary safeguards within their means to protect their charity.
The charity, reported what went on to us by way of a serious incident report in September 2011 relating to a volunteer continuing to fundraise without the charity’s permission, after being contacted by the Police. At that time, the Commission engaged with the charity on this issue. The charity advised us that it would be reviewing its policies relating to volunteer fundraisers following the incident. The Commission was satisfied that the charity’s trustees had put a suitable plan in place. We remain in contact with them on all relevant issues.
It is always unacceptable when individuals abuse the good name of charity, and the high trust the public hold charities in, for their own gain.”