The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into an Islamic charity over the charity’s takeover of a private trust linked to a trustee’s late mother.
In a statement released today announcing the inquiry, which opened on 16 January, the commission said it visited the Suyuti Institute’s trustees and conducted a books and records inspection on 1 November last year because it had concerns about a lecture given by one of the trustees.
It was during this inspection that the information about the private trust was discovered. In its statement the commission said it feared the decision to take over the trust could expose the charity to "significant financial risk".
It also had concerns about whether the trustees had acted in the charity’s best interests in accepting the assets and liabilities of the trust and about the management of conflicts of interest, the commission said.
The inquiry will consider the charity’s financial management, whether there has been any private benefit to the trustees and whether there has been any misconduct or mismanagement.
The commission will also investigate whether the trustees have properly executed their legal duties and responsibilities and whether the charity has been operating in furtherance of its charitable objects.
The commission made an order to freeze the charity’s bank accounts on 18 January and directed the charity’s trustees to provide it with the necessary information and documents.
According to the Charity Commission website, the charity had an income of £13,208 and spent £8,231 in the year to 1 February 2015. The website shows that the charity is 64 days overdue in submitting its accounts for the year to 1 February 2016.
A spokesman for the charity declined to comment on the inquiry.