It’s hard to fathom. How could someone use children as a means to steal money? But that’s precisely what authorities think people did in the city of Larnaca, Cyprus.
According to CyprusMail, The Pancyprian Foundation of Affection and Love to Children is under investigation for not keeping accounting books. The discrepancies originally surfaced in 2012 after the Audit Office found little to no financial records on file.
The foundation raised funds by selling calendars at busy intersections. The Audit Office was unable to find any paperwork that kept track of how many calendars were sold or how much money was raised. As a result, officials are now pursuing legal action.
But it gets worse than that. State broadcaster CyBC reported that the foundation had been using the names of reputable nonprofit organizations to convince people to purchase their publications.
Among the organizations victimized by the scandal is The Pancyprian Association for the Protection of Cerebral Palsy and Disabled Children. It just goes to show that criminals will stop at nothing to try and steal peoples’ hard-earned money.
The recent news has caused so much outrage that the attorney general is now making it a priority to shut down the charity for breaking the Associations and Institutions Law.
Authorities want to take the opportunity remind people to be extra cautious when donating to charities around the holiday season. Law enforcement officials say that there is always an influx of fraudulent and counterfeit charities that pop up just before Christmas.
In order to prevent being taken advantage of, volunteerism commissioner Yiannis Yiannaki advised members of the public to ask to see a license before making a donation to charity. Legitimate charities will always have a license handy. If they don’t, citizens are encouraged to report the charity to authorities.
Allow this to serve as a gentle reminder that predators are on the prowl 24/7 everywhere throughout the world. Please stay vigilant, folks.