An independent school’s head teacher and his son have been barred from establishing a charity after £400,000 ($503,112) in cash was discovered hidden inside a wooden box. Yusuf Musa, the school’s director of safeguarding, was arrested after allegedly threatening two guests with a fake pistol during an argument at Darul Uloom London School in May of this year.
They discovered the toy gun and the money in a padlocked wooden box after searching the boarding school. Suspicion of money laundering was leveled against his father, head of the school. Later, the police investigations against both men were dismissed. However, a second investigation by the regulator found that they were guilty for “serious mismanagement and misconduct” that placed the school’s finances at danger, and as a result, they were barred from serving in charitable organizations.
The money came from donations and school fees for the 145 boys who attend the school, which is known as the “Muslim Eton.” Boarding expenses at the institution range from $3,500 to $3,500 a year.
Despite the school’s possession of a safe, the Charity Commission reported that the funds were stored in a wooden chest. The sum confiscated was comparable to the institution’s yearly revenue.
Despite the attempted burning at the school and a number of burglaries recorded in the neighborhood, school authorities were slammed by the regulator for neglecting to deposit the money in a bank. Two years later, a commission investigation examining the school’s operations said that it had been confiscated by authorities and not returned.
As the Charity Commission’s associate director of investigations put it: “The public rightly expect high standards of governance and integrity from charity trustees. Unfortunately, our inquiry has found the former trustees of Darul Uloom School London did not meet those standards. Our inquiry has taken robust action to address wrongdoing and harm, including in disqualifying two former trustees. I hope that the current trustees learn the lessons from what has happened and ensure that the charity is more securely and effectively managed so it can deliver the best possible services for its beneficiaries.”
In five inspections since 2013, school inspectors have given Darul Uloom the “inadequate” or “requires improvement” grade, the two lowest on the scale. Nevertheless, the school’s financial management has improved, and it continues to function.