The UK government has suspended aid to a Malawian charity organization suspected to have ties with an international cult-like organization, according to the BBC.
It is alleged that the Malawian branch of Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) is connected to the Teachers Group, whose top leadership is being investigated by Interpol for fraud.
DAPP Malawi is one of the most active NGOs in that country, supporting numerous projects in agriculture, health, and education. The NGO is said to have received millions of pounds from the UK government, European Union, and UNICEF over the last decade.
In its investigations, however, the BBC reported that a huge amount of the total development aid given to DAPP Malawi was handed over to the Teachers Group, with some DAPP staff members transferring close to 30 percent of their salary to the group.
“Payments to DAPP have been suspended and we encourage the BBC to share their evidence in full,” the British Department for International Development (DFID) said in a statement.
Established in Denmark in the 1970s, the Teachers Group runs a parallel government-funded school system in Denmark and other parts of the world.
Investigations by European authorities suggest that The Teachers Group is a political cult involved in criminal financial activities. Its founder, Mogens Amdi Petersen, was arrested by Danish authorities in 2001 and charged with fraud. He was found not guilty, however, and released in 2006, after which he and his associates left the country.
Following a court appeal by Danish prosecutors, Mogens and his acquaintances are now being sought by Interpol. Authorities suspect they could be hiding in a posh beach complex on the Pacific coast of Mexico.
The Teachers Group allegedly recruits people from all over the world and collects huge chunks of their monthly salary in the name of funding educational programs.
“Common time is a commitment of sharing time to ensure the completion of the work, common distribution is a commitment about making yourself available for work needed together with your own potentials and wishes, and common economy is a commitment of a common saving-up of salaries and a common decision about the use of them. The decision procedure is consensus,” the group writes on their website.
The group is also believed to be running offshore companies and commercial ventures. Danish authorities accuse the organization of money laundering, fraud, and diverting charitable funds to private businesses and individuals.