The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into ANO, registered charity number 1155123. The inquiry was opened on 3 April 2017.
The Leicester-based charity, also known as Aid for the Needy & Oppressed, has objects to provide relief of poverty, in particular countries affected by disasters and war, through financial support, goods and services.
In December 2016, a trustee of the charity was stopped by UK Ports Officers where cash totalling £19,300 belonging to the charity was seized. These funds are subject to a cash detention order and are at risk of loss in the event of a successful forfeiture application. The trustee submitted a Serious Incident Report (RSI) to the Commission regarding the incident in January 2017.
The Commission sought additional information from the charity’s trustees regarding their decision to courier the charity’s funds in cash, and exercised its powers under section 52 of the Charities Act 2011 to obtain copies of the charity’s bank statements. The Commission’s analysis of the information obtained to date has identified a number of regulatory concerns which warrant further investigation.
The investigation will consider:
- the administration, governance and management of the charity by the trustees;
- the financial controls and management of the charity and whether its funds have been properly expended solely for exclusively charitable purposes and can be accounted for;
- the conduct of the trustees; and
- whether or not the trustees have complied with and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities as trustees under charity law.
The Commission recently issued an alert to charities strongly advising against the use of cash couriers.
It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.
The charity’s details can be viewed on the Commission’s online charity search tool.
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales. To find out more about our work, see our annual report.
- Search for charities on our online register.
- Details of how the Commission reports on its regulatory work can be found on GOV.UK.
- Section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 gives the Commission the power to institute inquiries. The opening of an inquiry gives the Commission access to a range of investigative, protective and remedial legal powers.
- The Commission’s decision to announce the opening of a statutory inquiry is based on whether it is in the public interest to do so and with consideration of our objective to increase public trust and confidence in charities.