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January 16, 2016

Anomalies in relief funds distribution in Upper Dir unearthed

Top Story

January 16, 2016

October earthquake

PESHAWAR: Large-scale of fraud cases in the disbursement of relief funds for recent earthquake affectees in Upper Dir have been unearthed and the district administration has started registering cases against those who fraudulently drew funds meant for earthquake-hit families.

The deputy commissioner of Upper Dir has already sent a letter to the district police officer (DPO) along with the names of those who have fraudulently drawn cheques of relief funds, which were meant for deserving affectees of the October 26 earthquake.

The district administration has distributed Rs1.83 billion among the families affected by the October earthquake in Upper Dir. However, fraud cases have also started appearing in the disbursement of the relief funds as the assessment was carried out in haste on the directives of the prime minister.

The district officials told The News on Friday that the flawless assessment was not possible as most the areas struck by the earthquake remained inaccessible for weeks and the assessment committee was heavily depended on the data reported by the affectees themselves.

The data provided by the affectees was later could not be verified and in some cases the pictures of even one damaged house, taken from different angles, were presented to the committee by different people. And in some cases even the members of the same family received relief cheques as compensation for damaged to the same house, they added.

They maintained that initially at least 28 cases had been unearthed, under which the relief cheques worth Rs4.1 million were fraudulently drawn. Another inquiry has also been launched wherein more cases of the same nature are expected to be discovered.

The officials said that the fraud cases also included the families who received Rs 200, 000 for just a small crack in a wall of the bathroom or damage to a wall and even in some cases wives and husbands have also received cheques for the same damaged houses.

The deputy commissioner’s letter No 639-46 DC/Rel:Asstt/EQ dated 14-1-2016, the copy of which has been received at the Chief Minster’s Secretariat and office of the chief secretary, has informed the DPO that following an enquiry into the reported cases of fraud into the receipt of relief cheques, the district administer has identified at least 28 persons who fraudulently received relief cheques.

The inquiry report appended to the deputy commissioner letter also pointed to the affected families, who shifted to Mataka Dir Town from Panakot areas and there are no homes of these families, but they received cheques in Panakot. It also included the brothers who received relief cheques for their houses that were not damaged by the earthquake.

The inquiry report also identified five persons who have fraudulently drawn double cheques.The deputy commissioner in his letter, copy of which along with the list of the persons who fraudulently received relief cheques is also available with The News, has also sought severest action by police against the swindlers.

He has asked the DPO to direct the stations house officers (SHOs) to register first information reports under relevant section of law against those who pocketed relief funds and recover the amount so that it could be disbursed among the deserving affected families.

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