Regulator looks into Nowzad's Afghanistan emergency evacuation appeal

The Charity Commission is gathering information from the charity Nowzad after it received reports about the governance and financial arrangements of its Operation Ark fundraiser.

The Kabul-based charity came to prominence following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last month, when an emergency campaign raised £200,000 to evacuate its staff and animals.

The charity's founder, Pen Farthing, a former marine, would later accuse the Ministry of Defence of "blocking" his flight out of Afghanistan after the money was raised.

The regulator said it had received reports about the governance and financial arrangements of Operation Ark.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman said: “Earlier this month, we contacted the charity Nowzad for further information in relation to its recent fundraising initiative Operation Ark. We will assess the information provided by the trustees to determine whether or not there is a role for the Commission. We cannot comment further at this time.”

The charity told the BBC: "The trustees are wholly confident that Nowzad's life-saving work in incredibly difficult circumstances was both the right and only thing to do and was absolutely in furtherance of the charity's purpose.

"The trustees of course recognise that it is entirely proper for the commission to gather more information regarding this high-profile and unprecedented operation and are very happy to provide the information requested.”

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