Charity duo quizzed by anti-terror cops

TWO men from Dewsbury were arrested by anti-terror police on Wednesday over an alleged fraud involving a Syria aid charity.

The suspects, aged 33 and 43, were detained after raids on two homes and a shop in the Savile Town area.

Counter terrorism cops are leading the probe and are being supported by the Charity Commission over claims involving charitable funds.

The pair were arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation along with three other men.

Suspects aged 32 and 53 from Halifax and a 38-year-old man from Sheffield were also quizzed.

Four other homes around West and South Yorkshire were searched as part of the operation.

All five men were released on bail later on Wednesday. Police enquiries are continuing.

Farook Yunus, quoted as a Savile Town spokesman, told BBC Look North police had given advice to residents.

He said officers told people to be aware of exactly which groups they donate money to.

The charity involved was not named, but a police spokeswomen said it is not linked to problems in Dewsbury town centre last month.

Street collectors were accused of causing traffic chaos by stopping motorists appealing for cash.

Kirklees Council said the only Syria aid group with a permit for such activities at that time was Aspiring Communities, a Leeds-based charity.

Their street collection permit expired on April 30. The council confirmed they moved on aid workers following complaints.

A spokesman for the North East Counter Terrorism Unit said the Syria aid group involved in Wednesday’s raids was not Aspiring Communities.

She also highlighted advice about how to make sure donations to this cause go to legitimate groups.

“We would encourage people to visit the Charity Commission’s website to check that a charity is registered,” she said.

“They should also give to experienced charities that work in high-risk environments.

“The Charity Commission’s website also provides advice for anyone wishing to get involved in fundraising or charitable activities connected to Syria.”

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