KARACHI – The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday approved the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) appeal against the acquittal of Chief Executive Officer of Axact, Shoaib Shaikh and others accused in the money laundering case.

A division bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, was hearing an appeal filed by the FIA challenging the acquittal of Axact chief in a case pertaining to illegal transfer of Rs170.17 million to a Dubai-based firm, Chanda Exchange Company, in April 2014.

The two-member SHC bench sent the case to the trial court for further proceedings. Besides, the sessions court was earlier ordered to charge the accused persons and finish the case within three months.

The court ordered Axact’s CEO Shoaib Shaikh and other accused- Chanda Exchange Company’s Muhammad Younis and Junaid- to appear before the trial court on March 3.

Judge confesses to accepting bribe for acquitting Shoaib Shaikh in fake degree case

 The Chanda Exchange Company’s executives are alleged to have received 170 million rupees through 116 cheques.

Meanwhile, FIA Officials have said that Shaikh was likely to be arrested since he was not on bail, however, the counsel for Shaikh said that the court hadn’t ordered their client’s arrest.

Moreover, the Axact CEO’s legal counsel has requested the court to grant a three-day protective bail.

Axact Scandal shakes Pakistan

The Axact fake degree scandal surfaced in May 2015 when The New York Times published a report and claimed that the company sold fake diplomas and degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools, making “tens of millions of dollars annually”.

In its report submitted to the sessions court, the FIA alleged that evidence forensically extracted from Axact’s databases between 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.

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