PESHAWAR: Officials at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) National Accountability Bureau (NAB) fear embezzlement of upto Rs500 million in the reimbursement of funds allocated to compensate affectees of the 2008 'Sherdil' operation against militants in Bajaur Agency.

A well-placed source in KP NAB, on condition of anonymity, told Dawn.com that an inquiry has been authorised by the KP Director General NAB after receiving written complaints from affectees and concerned quarters.

The embezzlement of a large amount was noticed in the reimbursement of compensation for 'Sherdil' affectees in the initial inquiry, the source said.

During 2011-2012, 12,000 compensation cases were cleared in which Rs475,000 was announced for each family. But the amounts did not reach the concerned people, and hundreds of fake verifications were approved, the source added.

When asked about the actual embezzled amount, the source said authorities feared embezzlement of around Rs500m, adding that the compensation programme is a fraud.

“It’s a big scandal and high-profile government officials and politicians are involved in the internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) compensation fraud,” the source said.

Anwarullah Khan, a senior journalist from Bajaur Agency, told Dawn.com that in the 'Sherdil' Operation compensation programme, tribal elders, government officials and local politicians had exercised favouritism in the reimbursement of compensation funds, and some eligible families are still waiting for compensation.

KP NAB has already exposed an embezzlement scandal worth Rs60m meant for the IDPs of Mohmand Agency.

Former Director General Fata Disaster Management Authority Arshad Khan and two other officials were put behind bars after being indicted for fraud.