PESHAWAR - Seven contractors were arrested and Rs 55 million were recovered yesterday over an advance payment fraud, KP government said.

The contractors were involved in receiving advance payments after they submitted fake worksheets to falsely show unfinished work as completed.

The contractors after receiving advance payments had either left the schemes incomplete or had shown them completed in fake papers, says a press release.

In Kurram Agency, FR Tank and FR DIKhan, the contractors who were absconding after receiving advance payments of more than Rs 130 million were identified. A crackdown was launched against contractors and government officers involved in getting fake advance payments in connection with different development schemes.

The crackdown was initiated on the directives of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor who received complaints against such contractors. The governor issued directives to identify all such type of schemes and expose the contractors/government officers involved in embezzlement.

He also directed strict action against them and to recover the amount so far taken by the contractors as advance payments. Every penny of development grants belongs to the tribesmen and transparent use of public exchequer will be ensured at all cost, the governor said.

All those involved in misappropriating the funds will be dealt with iron hands irrespective of their status, the governor added. Tribal people and the contractors who are earning money by legal means should extend their full coordination to government officials in a bid to expose the illegal ones, the governor urged.