KARACHI, Pakistan: The IT Company Axact Chairman and CEO Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh among other suspects have been sent on physical remand until June 7, hours after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) took the main accused in fake degrees scam into custody.
The suspects were brought before the judicial magistrate Noor Muhammad who remanded them into FIA custody for further investigation.
Meanwhile, a First Information Report (FIR) numbered 7/2015 was registered against seven individuals including Shoaib Shaikh. The FIR was registered through the assistant director of FIA’s corporate crime circle Saeed Memon on behalf of the state.
The FIR was registered under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the accused were booked under sections 420, 468, 471, 472, 473, 474, 477-A, 109 and 34. The special laws were also invoked against the accused under sections 36 and 37 sections of the Electronic Transaction Ordinance 2002 and section 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2010.
The accused other than Shoaib against whom the FIR was registered included a UAE-based company MS/Axact FZLLC, the Vice Chairman & Co Founder of Axact Waqas Atiq, Zeeshan Anwar, Zeeshan Ahmed, Haris Siddiqi, Farhan Kamal, Umair Hamid.
Earlier in the day, the FIA and police arrested Shoaib Shaikh during a raid carried out on the Axact office on Khayaban-e-Ittehad in DHA. A large number of university degrees and student identification cards were also recovered from there.
The Axact officials and its CEO Shoaib Shaikh are in FIA custody as part of investigations into alleged involvement of the IT Company in selling fake degrees online.
The allegations were leveled by the New York Times in its report titled “Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions” published on May 17. The NYT report claimed that Axact allegedly earned millions of dollars from scams involving fake degrees, non-existent online universities and manipulation of customers.
Later the Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali ordered a probe by the FIA into the alleged Axact fake degrees scandal.