Trustee who posted antisemitic video is banned for three years

Ghulam Mustafa posted a video on the Ghulam Mustafa Trust's Facebook page in which it was claimed that 'f***ing Jews' had put tracking devices in mobile phones

A trustee who posted a video on his charity's Facebook page claiming "f***ing Jews" had put tracking devices in mobile phones has been banned from serving as a board member or senior manager of a charity for three years.

The Charity Commission visited the now defunct Ghulam Mustafa Trust in July 2015 after receiving complaints about the video.

Ghulam Mustafa, one of the trustees, was found to have created and uploaded the video, along with other posts "offensive or derogatory about Jewish people", according to a statutory inquiry report published by the commission today.

The report reveals the initial compliance visit led to further investigations that discovered more than £10,000 of charity funds unaccounted for.

The commission also learned that trustees of the trust, which was set up in 2014 to relieve poverty in Pakistan, had travelled to the country while personally carrying cash.

The regulator says this practice contravenes its guidance and is "known to be an activity by criminal and terrorist groups to move money".

It also identified a £100 payment to Mustafa, which he authorised, that did not further the charity's purposes, the report says.

When a commission action plan, which required the trustees to address certain issues, was not adequately implemented, the regulator opened a statutory inquiry in November 2015.

This concluded that the charity, which was based in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was "poorly managed and had little to no governance infrastructure in place", and "the trustees were unwilling or unable to properly administer the charity".

It said Mustafa's video and other images and comments were "wholly inappropriate and offensive", but "there was a collective failing on the part of the trustees to ensure that in utilising social media adequate controls and safeguards were in place".

In December 2015 the commission exercised legal powers that allow it to direct trustees to take specific actions, which in this case included the implementation of a social media policy and a financial controls policy.

Two years later it began moves to disqualify Mustafa as a trustee or senior manager for three years, which were upheld by its independent reviewer after representations by Mustafa.

Three new trustees were appointed in 2017 after two of the original ones resigned.

After a meeting with commission staff last year, the trustees decided to dissolve the charity, which ceased to exist at the end of February this year.

Michelle Russell, director of investigations, monitoring and enforcement at the Charity Commission, said in a statement: "Our inquiry found that one of the trustees abused his position at the charity in order to spread offensive messages on social media. It’s right that we took robust action to end this practice and the harm it could cause."

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