Global online donation platform Ammado was wound up this week after liquidators were called in following a High Court hearing in Dublin.
According to the hearing, the Revenue Commissioners first petitioned to wind up the Dublin-based business last September. Myles Kirby of Kirby Healy accountants was last month appointed as liquidator of Pembroke Dynamic Internet Services, which previously traded as Ammado Internet Services.
The court hearing came after the company failed to pay the Revenue around €400,000 of debt.
Donations amounting to €3.8m made to charities through Ammado are also said to unaccounted for, as is Managing Director Peter Conlon although it is believed that he may be in custody in Switzerland.
Charities Institute Ireland has opened an inquiry into the business and issued advice on 31 January, suggesting that any charities affected by the liquidation log into their accounts and take screengrabs showing money owed before the site is shut down.
UPDATE: For charities exposed to the liquidation of Pembroke Dynamic Internet Services Ltd, previously trading as Ammado Internet Services, advice is to log into your account and take screen shots/photos of all transactions owing to your organisation before the site is shut down.
— Charities Inst. Ire (@CiiTweets) January 31, 2018
The Irish Red Cross has posted a statement on its website, assuring the public that their donations to the charity had not been affected. It said it became aware of issues at Ammado in April last year, when it stopped using the platform as a result:
“The Irish Red Cross was made aware of issues at the fundraising service provider by the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) in April 2017. The IFRC and many of its national societies, including the Irish Red Cross, had been using the Ammado service since 2011, but last April the IFRC alerted all national societies of business conduct issues with the platform and advised all national societies to immediately suspend their use of Ammado.
“The Irish Red Cross took immediate action and closed down its Ammado account. All monies raised for the Irish Red Cross on the Ammado platform had been collected prior to the closure of the account so there are no outstanding monies owed to the Irish Red Cross by Ammado.”
Ammado launched in 2005 and offered online fundraising and donation services for both non-profits and companies, which could set up their own fundraising campaigns through the site to benefit one or many charities. According to its site, it facilitated donations in over 80 currencies, 20 payment methods and numerous languages, and worked with thousands of charities worldwide including Amnesty, Medicins sans Frontieres and UNICEF.
With 2015’s Nepal earthquake for example, it helped both charities and companies launch appeals through its platform, raising millions from donors in 135 countries for Save the Children, Oxfam and Red Cross Red Crescent among others. It also offered additional services such as its donations cards, launched first for corporates and giving companies the opportunity to buy donation gift cards for employees or clients and in 2016, to engage young people with philanthropy through the Ammado Philanthropy Academy, which enabled people to buy donation gift cards for children who could choose from a selection of charities to give to.
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