A team of Federal Investigation Agency raided Axact’s offices separately in Islamabad and Karachi yesterday and sealed the one in the federal capital. Several company employees were also taken in for questioning. This action following the ordering of an inquiry by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar after an expose in the New York Times’ on the company’s alleged sale of fake degrees online.
A separate team of FIA Cyber Crime department also reached Axact’s Karachi office as the agency. The FIA team in Islamabad has sought the firm’s transaction record for the past 10 years.
FIA granted access to bank accounts of Axact
The local court on Friday granted the Federal Investigation Agency access to 34 bank accounts of Axact, which is currently under probe over fake degrees scam.
The Deputy Director of FIA Saeed Ahmed Memon had filed an appeal with the court, seeking access to bank accounts of Axact as part of an ongoing investigation. His requested was granted by the district sessions judge South for access to bank accounts of the firm.
Axact CEO gets another notice!
The FIA issued another notice to Axact CEO Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh for not turning up at the office to record his version. Mr. Shaikh sent his representative instead of appearing in person, which drew wrath of the FIA probe team.
FIA gets ‘key’ evidence from Axact Karachi office: sources
It is learnt that the FIA has gotten some significant proofs regarding Axact’s deceitful tactics in issuing fake degrees and diplomas. Sources informed that statements of detained employees of the Axact have also been recorded, which could help investigators in busting the entire gang.
No foreign concerns conveyed to Pakistan over alleged fake degrees scam: FO
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday said that that no foreign country has conveyed any concern to Pakistan over local IT company Axact’s alleged fake degrees scam.
Spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah on Thursday while answering questions during a briefing said that Pakistani agencies were investigating the accusations against Axact upon directions of the Interior Ministry.
“Investigations are underway and we have to wait for their completion,” the spokesman said investigating agencies were inquiring into the accusations against Axact on directives of the Interior Ministry.
The investigations are underway and we have to wait for their conclusion, the spokesman said.
Every marketing team had to earn 40,000 dollars daily: former employee
Sayyad Yasir Jamshaid, a formal employee of Axact, has claimed that each team marketing for fake degrees had been given a target of 40,000 dollars daily.
Jamshaid, a former quality control official at Axact, in an interview to Gulf News said that the sales agents of the IT company were talking to the customers impersonating as professors.
He further said that a woman in United Arab Emirates (UAE) bought 18 degrees from the universities of Axact in three years.
He said that he wants to expose the fraud of Dubai branch of the company.
Yasir Jamshaid said that his family members being issued life threats due to his whistle blowing of the misdeeds of the company.
FIA seeks placing six Axact officials in ECL
According to investigation sources, the investigators have found substantial evidence from computers during the investigations, ARY News reported on Thursday.
The investigation against the company having head office in Karachi has entered in the third day.
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), inquiring into allegations levelled in an exclusive report of New York Times, has prohibited six employees of Axact from leaving the country. The investigation agency has also recommended placing the names of six officials of the company namely Yassin Vohra, Zeeshan Anwar, Rahim Keshwani, Saleem Said, Ali Asghar and Emanuel in the Exit Control List (ECL).
Moreover, a bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) has approved a petition for hearing seeking sealing the record of Axact software company’s office in Lahore. The court has issued notices to the parties for reply by May 28.
42 servers have been seized from Axact: Chaudhry Nisar
The Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, informed that 42 servers of Axact have been taken into custody while forensics audit will take time to complete. He said government is willing to complete the inquiry of Axact scam at the earliest.
Chaudhry Nisar said he has already ordered an inquiry by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which is being carried out by its seven member committee representing cyber and corporate wings.
FIA summons Axact CEO on Thursday
The Corporate Crime Circle of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) inquiring into the fake degrees scam, has summoned the CEO of Axact Shoaib Shaikh on Thursday.
Deputy Director FIA Karachi Kamran Ataullah has said that the investigation teams of the agency will remain present at the head office of Axact in Karachi for 24 hours. All concerned record of the company has been taken into custody, he said. The FIA has got access to the server of Dubai central office of the company.
The de-coding of computers, taken into custody from Islamabad office of Axact, has been in process, officials said.
The investigation teams were also recording statements of the employees of the company for the second day today.
The tax officials also investigating into the financial affairs of the software company and the details of the tax paid by it.
The FBR officials have also demanded the tax record from the company.
FIA team arrives Axact Karachi office for further inquiry
A team of FIA officials on Wednesday reached the head office of Pakistan based IT company Axact for further investigations into the fake degrees scam, ARY News reported.
American newspaper New York Times in an exclusive report accused Axact for involvement in fake degrees business in its worldwide operations. The report authored by Doclan Walsh, claims that the company was earning millions of dollars in its fictitious business.
A team of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) headed by deputy director Kamran Ata reached the office of Axact in Karachi today to further investigation in view of the information gathered on Tuesday raids.
FIA has summoned Chairman Axact Shoaib Shaikh today.
FIA in its raids yesterday taken the computers and files from the company’s offices in Islamabad and Karachi and detained scores of employees for questioning.
According to sources, a forensic study of 40 computers of Axact being conducted. The computers were taken into custody by the FIA officials yesterday.
Moreover, 23 employees of the company have been released after recording their statements, while the statements of remaining detainees will be recorded today.
Investigation sources said that FIA has unearthed six Axact websites being operated from Pakistan. Remaining websites of the company have been based in Middle East and Cyprus, sources said.
FIA has also summoned the data of the websites based in Pakistan, sources added.
Kamran Khan says will quit BOL, if NY Times allegations proved
Veteran journalist and President BOL Network Kamran Khan said NY Times reporter Declan Walsh had contacted him last week for the story.
Walsh had also contacted the Axact for their version. But he was told that his all queries could not be replied in such an insufficient period of time. He was speaking at ARY News programme ’11th Hour’ hosted by Waseem Badami.
Khan said the story came as a shock for him. But the story didn’t come all of a sudden, he mentioned.
He questioned whether thousands of educated youngsters were running a racket in Pakistan through Axact.
Khan said,” I will quit BOL without any second thought if charges against the Axact stands proved.”
MQM demands action
MQM chief Altaf Hussain has demanded investigation into accusations leveled against the Axact company in New York Times report.
In a statement issued here, the MQM supremo demanded putting names of all executives of Axact on the Exit Control List.
Shoaib Shaikh’s name to be put on Exit Control List (ECL)
According to sources, the government has decided to put Axact CEO’s name on the Exit Control List. The decision is taken in view of the investigation being held against the IT company for its scam, involving issuance of fake degrees to students in different countries impersonating US officials.
FIA summons Axact chairman Shoaib Shaikh
The Federal Investigation Agency has issued notice to CEO Axact Shoaib Shaikh and summoned him tomorrow.
The crime investigation body, in its notice, directed Shaikh, who is also the Chairman BOL Network, to turn up at the FIA office with relevant documents he is asked to bring along.
Fake US State department letter recovered
The FIA team seized several articles from Axact office in Karachi. In a latest update, the raiding team found several blank degrees as well as fake letterhead of the US State Department.
While, sources informed, a fake confirmation letter of the US State Department was also seized during the FIA raid.
Raid at Karachi, Islamabad offices; employees detained
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officers swooped on the Karachi headquarters of the company, seizing equipment and records and expelling employees from the building, a member of the raiding party told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile the company’s Rawalpindi office has been sealed and employees were being questioned at the site, an official said.
The same official had earlier said that two employees had been arrested, but later clarified they were being quizzed and had not been charged with a crime.
Whistleblower claims uploading several videos on Facebook page
Axact former employee Sayyed Nasir Jamshed has uploaded what he says are videos he took of the company’s operations while he was an employee. These can be accessed on his Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/sayyad.y.jamshaid
Below is a screenshot of one of the videos
Axact’s in-house servers go silent?
The company’s two main servers located in the Karachi office will soon be turned off, in effect shutting down the company’s worldwide operations.
Several dozen employees have been detained for questioning, and include staff from the company’s human resources department. The FIA team seized computer equipment, hard disks, files and other related material from both the offices.
Chaudhry Nisar orders inquiry of NYT claims
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali on Tuesday taken notice of the New York Times’ accusations against Pakistan based software company Axact and ordered Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to carry out an inquiry of the claims
The New York Times (NYT), in an article by its Pakistan correspondent currently stationed in the UK Declan Walsh titled “Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions”, has claimed that Pakistan-based software company Axact provides fake educational degrees to its customers and is impersonating top level United States officials to lure more customers.
Interior Ministry has stated that the investigation should be held as to how truthful are the claims against the company.
“It is a matter of Pakistan’s integrity”, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali was cited as saying.
Axact has labelled NYT’s accusations against them as baseless and alleged that the story was done at the behest of its rivals, namely the Geo and Express media groups.
Senate decides Standing Committee hearing on Axact allegations
Pakistan People’s Party’s parliamentary leader in Senate Senator Aitzaz Ahsan demanded an investigation of the allegations leveled against Axact in the American newspaper.
Ahsan raised the issue in today’s session of the Parliament’s upper house and demanded immediate investigation of the claims.
He also said that the Pakistan’s name comes first whenever something bad happens in the world. He added that such incidents defame the country.
Chairman senate Raza Rabbani accepted the demand of the PPP Senator and handed the matter to concerned standing committee of the house.
Axact/Bol senior executives take to Twitter to defend their organization against the allegations made in the NYT report
Meanwhile, senior Bol executives took to social media, where the outrage following the New York Times’ report on Axact has been the most vocal.
The President and Editor-in-Chief (Co -Founder) of BOL Group and Azhar Abbas, President and CEO, Bol News both tweeted
We created Bol to uphold the truth not cover or twist truth,we not in the business of cover-ups regardless personal cost or consequences
— Kamran Khan (@AajKamranKhan) May 19, 2015
V created Bol to uphold the truth not to cover or twist it v r not in the business of cover-ups regardless of personal cost or consequences — Azhar Abbas (@AzharAbbas3) May 19, 2015
For a second day running the issue dominated Twitter in Pakistan with many now questioning the swift reaction by the FIA. A well-known industrialist Farooq Sumar tweeted
@omar_quraishi Does Nisar want us to believe that all these years nobody in govt was aware of what was going on?Nonsense,coverups now begin.
— Farooq Sumar (@FarooqSumar) May 19, 2015