Charity Commission appoints interim manager for Afghan Poverty Relief

Two of its trustees were jailed for fraud offences earlier this year; now the charity is the subject of criminal confiscation proceedings by terrorism police

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to take over the affairs of the charity Afghan Poverty Relief, which is subject to criminal confiscation proceedings by counter-terror police.

APR registered with the commission in 2004 with the objects of relieving poverty, sickness and distress, and advancing education. It has not filed any accounts with the commission for the past three years; its last annual report showed its income was just shy of £500,000 in the year to 31 March 2010.

The regulator opened a statutory inquiry into the charity in February 2012 over concerns relating to misappropriation of charity funds and the charity’s administration, governance and management.

In November that year, two of its trustees, husband and wife Syed Hajnajafi and Akila Kassam, were arrested and bailed over suspicions of stealing more than £400,000 from the charity.

They were formally charged in May 2013, and 12 months later were jailed for five and three years respectively for fraud and theft offences.

Pesh Framjee, a partner at the accountancy firm Crowe Clark Whitehill, was appointed as interim manager of the charity to the exclusion of its two trustees on 26 September, the commission announced today.

The interim manager will represent the charity during criminal confiscation proceedings against the jailed former trustees, which a spokeswoman for the commission said were being carried out by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command.

Framjee will then arrange for the use of any funds recovered as a result of the proceedings. He will also identify the charity’s assets and liabilities, complete the overdue accounts and determine the charity’s future.

The commission also chose Framjee as the interim manager of the Dove Trust, which owns the suspended online giving site CharityGiving.

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