Former chief executive of equality charity to face fraud and theft charges

Naz Malik was dismissed last year by the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association after the publication of an investigation by the Welsh government

Naz Malik
Naz Malik

The former chief executive of a Welsh equality charity will face charges of fraud and theft, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Naz Malik was dismissed last year from his role as chief executive at the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association, which supported multi-ethnic communities, after the publication of an investigation into the charity by the Welsh government.

The latter's investigation found failures in the control and governance of Awema, which received £7.15m in grant funding from the Welsh government between 2000 and 2011.

A report by the Welsh government said that expenses paid to Malik by the charity, which has since shut down, included a £110 car parking fine, £800 worth of sports tickets and staff gym memberships totalling £2,120.

"Our review showed that a high volume of transactions were processed through petty cash," the Welsh government report said. "Whilst all of the payments we examined were supported by the relevant vouchers and receipts, we did have concerns with regard to value for money."

The CPS said that, after reviewing the evidence, it had given South Wales Police the authority to issue a summons against Malik so that he could be charged.

Catrin Attwell, senior crown prosecutor for the CPS Wales complex casework unit, said in a statement: "The CPS has provided early advice and guidance to South Wales Police as its investigation into alleged offences committed by personnel connected to Awema has developed.

"I have now completed a formal review of the evidence gathered by the police, in accordance with The Code for Crown Prosecutors. My conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Malik with offences of theft and fraud by false representation.

"Accordingly, South Wales Police have been authorised to issue a summons against Malik and he will be charged when he attends court at a date and venue to be confirmed."

After the publication of the Welsh government’s investigation report, the Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the organisation to consider concerns about the charity’s governance and financial controls. 

A spokeswoman for the commission said today that the regulator’s statutory inquiry into Awema was continuing, but inquiries had been put on hold so as not to prejudice the police investigation.

"We will complete our investigation as soon as the police have concluded their work," she said. "As is our normal procedure, once the inquiry is completed we will publish a statement of the results, setting out our findings on our website."

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