The Charity Commission has opened statutory inquiries into "significant discrepancies" in the finances of two Islamic charities with operations in Pakistan.
Both charities, The Light and the Fatimiyya Trust, are more than 200 days overdue in filing accounts for their 2014 financial years, according to the regulator’s online register.
The regulator said it had opened the inquiries last year but did not contact the charities' trustees until this year because of the involvement of another agency, which the commission declined to name.
The Light operates in the UK, Iraq and Pakistan and describes its activities as the advancement of education, the betterment of community, a smoke-free life, counselling services and anti-social behaviour. It was set up in 2007 and according to its 2013 accounts it had an income of £408,611 and an expenditure of £407,097. Its website says that it works for the Islamic community by holding events and lectures for educational purposes.
The Fatimiyya Trust operates in London and Pakistan and its objects are the advancement of Islam and the relief of financial hardship of people among the Islamic community worldwide. It was also set up in 2007 and according to its 2013 accounts it generated an income of £162,250 and spent £169,911.
The commission issued a statement on each charity today saying it was looking into concerns about significant discrepancies in each charity’s income and expenditure when compared with the income and expenditure figures published in their submitted accounts for a number of years.
The commission opened a statutory inquiry into The Light on 27 June 2014 and one into the Fatimiyya Trust on 1 July 2014, but said it did not make contact with either charity or their trustees until March this year because of the involvement the another agency.
A commission spokesman said it was unable to confirm the identity of the second agency that was investigating the charities because of "ongoing engagement".
Neither The Light nor the Fatimiyya Trust had responded to invitations to comment from Third Sector by Tuesday lunchtime.