A charity that helped victims of domestic violence in Birmingham has been closed surrounded by allegations of financial irregularities.

The charity Amirah Foundation, based in Sparkbrook, set up in 2011 to help victims of domestic abuse was praised for its work in breaking down barriers for women in the Muslim community.

Amirah was a high-profile campaigning group and supported by many.

The charity won funding from the Home Office , West Midlands Police Commissioner and the Big Lottery Fund, while its former chief executive Shaz Manir was a member of West Midland Mayor Andy Street’s Leadership Commission – set up to increase diversity among civic leaders.

The charity’s trustees said they launched an investigation into alleged financial irregularities late last year after a formal complaint from a former employee.

Chief executive Shaz Manir was suspended and trustee Nurjahan Khatun criticised.

The trustees started their review after a woman working at the charity saw bank statements she claimed showed unusually large sums apparently for rental payments.

In the Initial findings by the trustees it was said Ms Manir “on occasion paid herself a full wage more than once in a month”.

They also say money was still being paid to a company registered in the name of Ms Khatun, chairwoman of trustees, “two years after it was dissolved”.

According the Charity Commission website Amirah’s accounts are overdue.

The Commission confirmed it was investigating the allegations.

A spokeswoman said: “We are engaged with the trustees of Amirah Foundation Limited regarding concerns raised with us about the charity.

As well as reporting the allegations to the Charity Commission, it was understood the Big Lottery Fund, police and Action Fraud had been informed of the allegations.

Amirah Foundation has now closed its doors, the support for vulnerable women has been offered by another charity PennyAppeal.


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