UK watchdog raised concern over Qatar-linked charity 

UK watchdog raised concern over Qatar-linked charity 
Qatar Charity, based in Doha, was blacklisted by Saudi Arabia and the UAE over its links to terror groups. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 19 August 2019

UK watchdog raised concern over Qatar-linked charity 

UK watchdog raised concern over Qatar-linked charity 
  • Nectar Trust, then known as Qatar Charity UK, funded projects highlighted by mother organization in Doha
  • Nectar Trust was formerly run by Yousef Al-Kuwari, a Qatari official who remains as chief executive of blacklisted Qatar Charity

LONDON: The UK charities watchdog warned about the “independence” of a British organization over its links to a Qatari group blacklisted as a terror organization by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Charity Commission intervened in 2015 when it found Qatar Charity UK was receiving almost all its funding from the Qatar Charity Qatar (QCQ), The Sunday Telegraph reported.

Qatar Charity UK, which later changed its name to Nectar Trust, was also funding projects “identified by QCQ,” according to a compliance report.

QCQ has been linked with the Muslim Brotherhood and was listed as a supporter of terrorism by the group of Arab countries that boycotted Qatar in 2017 over its links and support for extremist groups.

An investigation by French journalists found the Nectar Trust was allegedly used to fund multimillion-pound Brotherhood-linked projects in Britain and France. 

The UK organization received £28 million from QCQ in 2017.

In the 2015 report, the Charity Commission raised concerns that all the trustees were linked to QCQ. The report also said Israel had banned the QCQ over its support for an organization that backs Hamas.

Nectar Trust was formerly run by Yousef Al-Kuwari, a Qatari official who remains as chief executive of QCQ.

He founded Islamweb, a website that has posted edicts encouraging Muslims to hate Jews and Christians.

Nectar Trust describes itself as a charity that aims to relieve poverty and help those caught up in war or natural disasters.

Charities Commission guidance states that while charities in the UK may be set up and funded by a connected non-charity, they must operate independently and cannot exist “for the purposes of the other organisation”.

 

A spokesperson for the commission said: “Trustees are under a duty to always act in the best interests of their charity, and ensure that any conflicts of interest are managed appropriately, and in line with our guidance.

"Our report into the charity in 2015 outlined issues for the charity to consider at the time. We do not have an active case into the Nectar Trust.”