Keighley people told to be on guard against bogus collectors

A Keighley aid convoy driver has warned people to be on their guard against bogus charity collectors.

Abdul Ghafoor, a member of the Viva Palestina campaign group, said he was disturbed to hear about someone claiming to be collecting money for the Gaza Strip on his behalf.

Mr Ghafoor has twice travelled to this isolated Palestinian enclave to distribute aid supplies. But he said he was currently not involved in any charity collection for Gaza.

“If someone is genuinely raising money and is part of an organisation then that’s fine,” he said. “But if it’s some rogue person who’s just getting money for himself and using someone else’s name to do it then that’s wrong. They shouldn’t be doing it. People need to be aware.

“The issue of Gaza has been in the news a lot more recently, so some people seem to be jumping on the bandwagon.”

Mr Ghafoor said he was contacted last Friday by a friend who told him he had heard of a collection for Gaza in Keighley. His friend told him the person asking for cash had said the money raised would be handed to Mr Ghafoor. But Mr Ghafoor said he knew nothing about it.

In a separate incident in central Keighley on Saturday, he encountered a man who also said he was collecting money for the Gaza Strip.

However, when he asked the man what organisation the money would go to, he was unable to answer.

Mr Ghafoor added: “I asked him if he lived here. He said he had lived in Keighley for 20 years, but I’d never seen him before.”

Mr Ghafoor, a retired lorry driver from Shann Park, said members of organisations such as Viva Palestina often knew one another, and were usually aware of bona fide fundraising initiatives for the Palestinians.

He will be taking part in an aid convoy to Syria on December 23, travelling via Turkey, to help people who have been made destitute by the civil war.

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