A commission spokeswoman confirmed that it had received a complaint from the Association of Pakistani Lawyers about two UK-based charities: Minhaj-ul-Quran International UK and its sister charity the Minhaj Welfare Foundation.
Minhaj-ul-Quran International works to advance and teach Islam in the UK; the MWF is a humanitarian organisation that works to alleviate poverty worldwide.
Amjad Malik, chairman of the UK-based Association of Pakistani Lawyers, sent a complaint to the commission after seeing a news article published by Pakistan-based news website The News International. The story claimed that both charities had used money raised through fundraising to purchase a bullet-proof vehicle for Tahir Qadri, a Pakistani politician and founder and chairman of Minhaj-ul-Quran International.
Malik told Third Sector that he believed Dawood Hussain, a trustee of Minhaj-ul-Quran International UK, purchased the vehicle for $69,000 in cash from a retailer in Dubai and donated it to Qadri in Pakistan.
Malik said he had brought the case to the attention of the commission because he did not think that donors paid the money in order to fund a bullet-proof car.
But a joint statement from the charities denied the claims. "We strongly reject and deny the unsubstantiated claims that charities had utilised charitable funds for the provision of bullet-proof vehicles," it said. "We can confirm that no charity funds were utilised for this purpose."
The statement said both charities have "strict financial control mechanisms ensuring that funds are spent on only those projects that the donors had given them for.
"We strongly feel that the allegations made against us are unsubstantiated," it said. "We are yet to hear of any complaints from the commission and have not received any communication as of yet. However, we are confident that the matter when brought to our attention by the commission will be resolved swiftly and amicably."
A Charity Commission spokeswoman said: "We will be assessing this complaint and will decide whether or not there is any regulatory role for us to play."