Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 15:16 UK

Prince Charles charity to close amid fraud inquiry

Prince Charles
A spokesman said the prince's charity will take several weeks to wind up

A health charity founded by the Prince of Wales is to close following a fraud inquiry, its trustees have announced.

The shutdown of the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health came days after a former official was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

A spokesman said the formal closure process would take several weeks but the charity had stopped its operations with immediate effect.

Clarence House declined to comment but earlier said it was a police matter.

Unaccounted funds

A 49-year-old man and a woman, 54, were arrested on Monday on suspicion of fraud and money laundering and released on police bail until June.

Their arrests follow an investigation into a reported £300,000 of unaccounted funds.

A statement from the charity, set up by Charles in 1993, said: "The trustees of The Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health have decided to close the charity.

The Prince of Wales is proud of the achievements of his foundation
Clarence House spokesman

"Whilst the closure has been planned for many months and is part of an agreed strategy, the trustees have brought forward the closure timetable as a result of a fraud investigation at the charity.

"The trustees feel that the foundation has achieved its key objective of promoting the use of integrated health."

The charity helped form the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, and has worked with complementary healthcare professions towards self-regulation in the industry.

Clarence House said the prince had been a "catalyst" for raising the profile of integrated health and would continue to advocate the benefits of complementary therapies.

A spokesman said: "The Prince of Wales is proud of the achievements of his foundation, which has brought together hundreds of advocates of integrated health."

The charity has been criticised in the past for the alleged promotion of "unscientific" approaches to healthcare.

In February, MPs on the Commons Science and Technology Committee called for the NHS to stop providing homeopathy treatment.

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