Pakistan

KARACHI (Web Desk) – The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) yesterday filed a final charge-sheet against the chief executive officer and other senior officials of Axact in a case about fake degrees.

CEO Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, managers Viqas Atique, Zeeshan Anwar, Mohammad Sabir and Zeeshan Ahmed and 14 other officials/employees of the software firm were booked in May last year for allegedly preparing and selling fake degrees, diplomas and accreditation certificates of fictitious schools/universities through a fraudulent online system and illegally minting millions of dollars.

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The ‘final investigation report’ was filed about eight months after the submission of an interim report.

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In its report submitted to the sessions court, the FIA alleged that evidence forensically extracted from database of Axact from 2010 to 2015 showed that diplomas and degrees of fake universities based in the US had been issued to over 240,000 students of different countries, Dawn reported.

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The company earned more than $205 million in the process.

The shipment record of the degrees extracted from the company’s main server data was also verified from the courier service firm, the report said.

The bogus status of these educational institutions was confirmed by the US authorities and it appeared that Axact had set up three primary shell companies as well as various tertiary firms in the US, it added.

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According to the charge-sheet, the money earned from the sale of fake certificates was deposited in the accounts of these companies and their ownership had been confirmed by the detained suspects.

The additional district and sessions judge (south) admitted the FIA report for hearing.

 

Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali had ordered an inquiry against Axact after The New York Times published a report accusing the company of selling fake diplomas and degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools and making “tens of millions of dollars annually”.