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Rediff News  All News  » News » Radio station left relief funds dormant for seven years

Radio station left relief funds dormant for seven years

Last updated on: October 21, 2011 00:14 IST

An investigation by the Charity Commission has revealed that a London-based radio station that raised £160,000 for natural disaster left it unused in a bank account for almost seven years, The Guardian reported.

Sunrise Radio and sister station Kismat Radio deposited the money received as donations from listeners' in an account named Sunrise Radio South East Asia Disaster Appeal. 

The report prepared by the Charity Commission was passed to the broadcast watchdog Ofcom.

"Ofcom is carefully assessing the information and will make a decision shortly on whether to launch a full investigation into the issue," a spokesperson for Ofcom said.

The guardian reported that the quango had the power to revoke Sunrise Radio's broadcast license.

Sunrise Radio had raised the funds through an appeal following the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. The charity fund had grown to £181,000 with interest last year.

The Charity Commission's report said that there was "no evidence to suggest that the funds were at risk of misapplication". However, it condemned the trustees of the bank account, saying that they "did not act appropriately" by holding onto the money, The Guardian reported.

The station owner, Avtar Lit, said the money could not delivered for relief purposes as they were unable to get a visa for one of its presenters to go Pakistan and Sri Lanka.   

The Disasters Emergency Committee described the station's behaviour as "good intentions" gone awry because of a lack of planning.

Sunrise became the UK's first 24-hour Asian music station in 1989 and reaches 2 million listeners.