Website Visitor Statisticsnikon coolpix digital camera

Monday, 25 October 2010

BBC Asian Network DJ Kanwal Qazi on £18k benefit fraud charge

Left: Kanwal Qazi

The Birmingham Mail reports
- A BBC Asian Network DJ has been charged with an alleged £18,000 benefit fraud.

Popular presenter Kanwal Qazi, 52, is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court next month – and could face a prison sentence if convicted.

The DJ, whose real name is Lubna Qazi, is charged with carrying out the alleged benefit swindle over seven years.

It is claimed she failed to declare her job as a BBC presenter, while receiving Carer’s Allowance for helping tend to her sick husband.

Carer’s Allowance is the main state benefit for carers and currently stands at a minimum of £53.90 a week.

Mrs Qazi has pleaded not guilty to the fraud charge and will next appear before Birmingham magistrates on November 23.

She presents a Bollywood music show called Retro Selection on the under-threat radio channel, a programme billed as offering ‘timeless classics from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s’.

The presenter is described on her official BBC profile as ‘‘a tireless worker who gave up everything to become a DJ.

‘‘It was through sheer determination and belief in herself that made Kanwal’s dreams of becoming a presenter come true.’’

The glowing profile goes on to say that if Mrs Qazi had not become a DJ, she would have loved to have been a Bollywood star.

The Asian Network began life as a Radio Leicester show in 1976 before going national in 2002.

Yet the station, which has production centres in Birmingham, Leicester and London, has been described by some critics as a white elephant after seeing £25 million spent on it over the years.

Its average cost per listener is 6.9p – more than any other BBC station. The abject performance was singled out for criticism in the BBC Trust’s annual report. And in February Director General Mark Thompson proposed closing the Asian Network, a proposal confirmed in March. Yet supporters claim the station provides a vital service to a previously neglected part of the music community, and has helped launch the careers of a large number of British Asian presenters and DJs.

The under-fire BBC is aiming to save £1.9 billion from its budget and is currently being scrutinised on an unprecedented level. As part of the cost-cutting, it has frozen the licence fee at £145.50 for the next six years and has taken over the funding of the World Service. Mrs Qazi was unavailable for comment last night.

A BBC spokesman declined to talk about the case, and said they ‘‘would not comment on private matters.’’

Article

0 comments:

  © Blogger template 'Isolation' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP  

My Zimbio