ISLAMABAD - The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) received applications form prime witnesses of the multi-billion Oil and Gas Regulatory (OGRA) scam for protection as some of them claimed to be threatened by the corrupt accused involved in denting the billions of national kitty, well-placed sources told The Nation on Thursday.

According to details, most of the prime witnesses of the OGRA scam are serving in Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) and the corrupt management of gas utility company and their corrupt cronies who are directly involved in this scam is threatening the witnesses, the sources added. About a dozen of prime witnesses who are the employees of SSGCL are receiving threats of bad consequences, kidnapping of their children, registration of false cases against them, it is learnt.

Similarly, the incumbent Managing Director (MD) SSGCL, Zohair Siddique, former (MD) Azeem iqbal Siddique, Syed Arsalan Iqbal , Yousaf J Ansari and some other senior officials of SSGCL were listed in the co-accused who were involved in corruption and corrupt practices as the NAB has approved a reference against them.

When contacted, a prime witness of the OGRA scam to enquire about life threats on the condition of anonymity, he disclosed that he was threatened by the corrupt management of SSGCL for dire consequences and the NAB even failed to provide him any protection despite the fact that the federal watchdog has clearly written a letter to Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh and Director General (DG) Rangers (Sindh).

Another prime witness Dr Anwar Sehto when contacted by the scribe said the corrupt management of SSGCL that has dented billions of rupees to the national exchequer threatening him of dire consequences and he is even compelled to leave his hometown to save his life.

He confirmed that out of about a dozen prime witnesses of OGRA scam Nisar Ahmed, Mustafa Abdullah, Israr Ahmed and Irfan Ahmed were threatened and all of them have filed an application to the NAB authorities to provide them proper protection.

Despite repeated attempts made by the scribe to seek the version of MD SSGCL Zohair Siddique regarding threats to the prime witnesses of OGRA multi-billion scam on his available cell number 0322-2225555 but he was not attending the phone.