Beware of impostors, says Kumar

STOP extorting money out of helpless flood victims.

This was the warning from Local Government and Infrastructure Minister Parveen Kumar.

He made the comment after a man allegedly impersonated a government official and offered to clear up debris from flood victims’ homes in Yalalevu, Ba, in exchange for money.

The incident was reported to Mr Kumar during a damage assessment tour of major roads in Ba on Tuesday.

He said he was disappointed that people were taking advantage of flood victims and extorting money for a service that was provided free by the Government.

“This is a concern for us because this person is not only impersonating a government official but is also trying to get money from people who were affected by a major flood,” he said.

“It is very unfortunate that it happened but we will do our best to put a stop to it.

“This person impersonated an employee of Dayals in some situations and to other residents he said that he was from the Ba Town Council.

“He took money from them saying that he was from these authorities and that he would remove debris from their homes.

“When I went to assess the damage in Yalalevu, the residents told me about this and I assured them that they would not be charged for this work.”

Mr Kumar said the matter would be reported to police.

“We want whoever took money from these people to be charged and dealt with.

“We will make sure that the matter is taken up to police and that all of the money taken from the victims is refunded to them.”

The minister added that residents in affected areas should seek advice from their nearest district office on the work that government would be carrying out during the recovery period.

“We want to assure people that no one is being charged for the services that we are doing over the next few days.

“The clearing of large debris from their homes and silt from government infrastructure will be done by us.

“I want to also warn those who might want to take advantage of people during these situations.

“They are trying to recover from a major disaster and it is a crime for someone to try and take money or anything from these people.”

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