The Charity Commission is investigating a Sikh religious charity and suspended one of its trustees following a Home Office investigation of suspected immigration abuse.
The Manchester-based Khalsa Missionary Society was registered with the commission in 2008 with the objects of advancing Sikhism through prayer meetings, lectures and celebrations, and producing and distributing literature. Khalsa is the Sanskrit word for "pure".
A statement from the commission today said that the regulator had opened a statutory inquiry into the KMS on 16 September. "The inquiry has been opened as a result of an ongoing investigation by the Home Office into suspected immigration abuse," the commission said.
As part of this investigation, it also suspended one of the charity’s trustees from their role. This unnamed trustee is one of the three currently listed as trustees of the charity on the commission’s online register. A spokeswoman for the commission said she was unable to say on what date the suspension occurred or to confirm the name of the person concerned.
The statement said that the commission’s investigation would examine whether the charity was set up and registered for an improper purpose, whether it had been used for a non-charitable purpose and whether its trustees had personally benefited from or misapplied the charity’s funds.
The KMS is late to file its accounts or annual return for the year ending 31 March 2014, which were due at the end of last month, and it also has yet to file for the previous year. It had income of £219,429 in the year to 31 March 2012, up from £153,911 and £108,359 in the preceding years, in which cases its annual documents were filed more than seven months late.
The commission spokeswoman said she was not able to say whether the commission was looking into any other charities as part of the Home Office investigation.
Third Sector was unable to contact anyone from the charity for comment.
The commission said it would publish a report on the inquiry’s findings once it was concluded.