Sikh Youth UK leader arrested in dawn raid as Charity Commission opens inquiry into money raised
By Barfi Culture Team
3rd July 2019

West Midlands Police arrested Deepa Singh, leader of Sikh Youth UK, in a dawn raid this morning, Barfi Culture has learnt.

WMP released a statement saying: "A 38-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman were detained from an address in Birmingham for questioning in connection with alleged fraud offences of donated charitable funds."

"The pair are being held at a police station in the West Midlands."

The pair were arrested by detectives from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, "following examination of evidence obtained during searches which took place in September 2018."

That refers to raids that took place last year across West Midlands and London. The raids were criticised at the time by Sikh activists and the MP Preet Gill said she would raise it with Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

The Charity Commission also announced today it had opened a statutory inquiry into funds held by and raised in connection with Sikh Youth UK. It said Sikh Youth UK was not a registered charity however it had jurisdiction into the matter since the funds were raised for charitable causes.

It said: "In October 2018, West Midlands Police notified the Commission of concerns relating to the organisation’s receipt and use of charitable funds. The Commission exercised its powers under Section 52 of the Charities Act 2011 to obtain copies of bank statements. The Commission’s analysis of the information obtained to date has identified a number of regulatory concerns which warrant further investigation."

The Commission had opened an inquiry on 15 November 2018 but did not announce the investigation earlier to avoid prejudicing criminal proceedings.

The Charity Commission inquiry is examining:

- whether those in control of charitable funds have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law in the administration of charitable funds held by the organisation;

- the financial management of the organisation;

- whether there has been private benefit to the trustees of the organisation;

- the organisation’s partnerships with other charities;

- the conduct of the trustees

"The inquiry will also examine the organisation’s status in order to determine whether it is a charity in law. Those running the organisation have not applied to register with the Commission. If an organisation meets both the legal test for being a charity and the registration criteria then its trustees are under a legal requirement to apply to register with the Commission."

The opening of the inquiry is not proof of wrongdoing.

More developments will be added to the story

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