Press release: Commission takes action to protect funds donated to help needy in Syria

The Charity Commission (’the commission’) today published a report of its inquiry into funds raised for charitable purposes in the name of Mr Adeel Ul-Huq. On 10 February 2016 the commission made a public statement following his conviction for terrorist offences.

The commission opened its inquiry on 15 April 2014 following engagement with the North East Counter Terrorism Unit.

The commission took action to protect charitable funds donated to assist those affected by the Syria Crisis and to ensure that those funds were applied by registered charities. As a result of the commission’s action funds totalling £4,195.26 were used by 2 registered charities to provide aid which included food parcels and hygiene kits. Now that these funds have been applied the commission is able to report on the findings of its inquiry and the actions taken.

The commission’s inquiry identified misconduct and mismanagement and a risk to property which resulted in the exercise of its regulatory powers to protect charitable funds, direct their application and remove Mr Ul-Haq as a charity trustee. The consequence of which is that he is disqualified in law from acting as a trustee in the future without a waiver from the commission or the court.

Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission, said:

Our findings and conclusions illustrate the seriousness with which the commission takes the abuse of charities and charitable funds, particularly where there are concerns that these may be used for terrorist purposes, and that it will take action to protect and safeguard charitable funds and property whilst working collaboratively with the police and other partners where such concerns exist.

For the donating public, our message remains that this should not put you off giving to charity, but that you donate safely. Check if someone asking for funds is collecting for a registered charity and ensure that you are confident about what the funds will be spent on. Anyone can check whether a charity is registered before they give and see who its trustees are, what activities they carry out and whether they are compliant with filing their legal documents by using our online register of charities.

The full report is available on GOV.UK.


PR 44/16

Notes to editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
  2. Search for charities on our online register.
  3. Details of how the commission reports on its regulatory work can be found on GOV.UK.
  4. Funds raised for charitable purposes in England and Wales, even if they are not raised by a charity, fall within the commission’s regulatory jurisdiction.
  5. The commission publishes safer giving advice for the public so that they can be confident their donations are going to legitimate charities.

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