The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a charity associated with the Jamia Mohi Ul Islam Siddiqui Mosque in Oldham, as a result of serious regulatory concerns that there may have been misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity.
The Alauddin Siddiqui Trust (1159142) was registered with the Commission in 2014 with objects to advance the Islamic religion, however the trustees have told the Commission that its main activities in recent years have involved sending £60,000 to Bangladesh in connection with the Rohingyan crisis and £47,000 to Pakistan in connection with Qurbani expenditure*.
An apparent split has also led to the charity no longer providing a place of worship. The Oldham-based mosque appears to potentially be an asset of the charity, however Land Registry records show that the mosque is not currently registered as such, leading to concern about the potential loss of charitable assets.
There is also concern that the charity and a company by the same name have become merged to some extent. The Commission is concerned about the governance, management and administration of the charity, and the current trustees’ ability to rectify the issues it has identified.
The regulator therefore opened a statutory inquiry on 31 October 2019, which will examine:
- the governance arrangements within the charity
- whether there has been any loss of charitable assets
- whether there is any ongoing risk to the charity’s assets
- whether there has been misconduct and/ or mismanagement within the administration of the charity by its trustees;
- and whether the charity can be placed on a firmer footing for the future.
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.