A team from Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) has uncovered gas theft at a mobile phone network tower owned by the prominent telecommunications company, Jazz, in KPK.
SNGPL shared this discovery on its official Twitter account, stating, “During our ongoing efforts to combat gas theft, we have uncovered the involvement of a foreign mobile phone company operating in Pakistan.”
They explained that natural gas was being siphoned off from their 8-inch main pipeline, with culprits using a 200-foot-long pipe for this purpose. SNGPL’s team swiftly took action by disconnecting the connection used to power a gas-fired generator. They also registered a case against the telecommunications company at a local police station.
However, Jazz disputed these allegations, deeming them unfounded, and served SNGPL with a defamation notice amounting to Rs10 billion.
Jazz asserted that none of its network sites in Pakistan utilized natural gas, citing evidence held by SNGPL itself. They regarded these accusations as an attempt to undermine investor confidence.
Jazz emphasized the legitimacy of its electricity and fuel arrangements, revealing agreements with third-party suppliers for the exclusive provision of diesel fuel to its generators at multiple locations.
On a later note, SNGPL released a press statement indicating that a third-party contractor, responsible for gas theft at the Kurk site, had been identified. This was contrary to what was initially communicated by SNGPL on social media and in a letter sent to a Jazz officer. The initial communication stated that the operation was conducted in the presence of security officials after receiving reliable intelligence, even though a non-operational diesel-fired generator was on-site.
In the latest developments, SNGPL emphasized that it had never officially labeled Jazz as a “Gas Thief” in any of its statements, attributing the gas theft to individuals at a lower level within the organization.
Reports also suggested that the federal government had exerted pressure on SNGPL to retract its claims, fearing that the legal battle could adversely impact international investments in Pakistan.