Commission seeks further clarification on POW Trust funds

The Charity Commission is extending its investigation into the charity that helped free Tony Martin from jail after a newspaper reported that the charity accepted a cash donation in North Korean Won worth £5m.

The People's Opportunity to Work Trust, or the POW Trust, accepted the donation despite the currency being seen as undesirable by international money changers, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The newspaper also reported that the trust's secretary-general and founder Peter Sainsbury was banned from operating as a director for 10 years in 1990 after he was convicted of masterminding a £3m fraud, and that the charity's legal consultant Iain MacMaster was sentenced to eight years jail in 1998 for money laundering.

As a result, the commission is extending the scope of its investigation into the charity's affairs, which began in November 2002.

The POW Trust was set up by Sainsbury in 1992 to help socially excluded people.

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