Big Lottery launch investigation into £10,000 given to Grays Bongo Association

THE BIG Lottery Fund has launched an investigation into the £10,000 grant they gave to an organisation run by a Grays man who has just been jailed for fraud.

Ashraf Salim Ali, 42, Seabrooke Rise, Grays was jailed for thirty months because he invented fake charities and donations so he (and one other) could fraudulently reclaim over £500,000 in Gift Aid repayments.

But when YT received the news item from Her Majesties Revenue Service, we recognised the name of the Bongo Community Association.

Back in 2012, they received £10,000 from the Big Lottery for the following.

"This is a project by a voluntary organisation in Grays, Thurrock. The organisation will use the funding to pay for activities for women to reduce their isolation, build upon social skills and increase their confidence through interaction with one another".

YT asked the Big Lottery whether any of this actually took place?

A Big Lottery Fund spokesperson said:

"Each year we award around 12,000 small grants to community organisations. The Bongo Community Association was awarded £10,000 in March 2012.

"Our robust processes identified a concern and the grant was put under investigation in November of that year.

"Our investigations were paused pending the outcome of the HMRC investigation and court case and will now continue.

"Our processes are continually reviewed to ensure lottery funds have maximum impact on people and communities across the country."

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