Karachi

LIVE UPDATES: FIA finds ‘solid’ evidence against Axact CEO; court sends him on remand till June 4

KARACHI: A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team led by DG FIA Shahid Hayat arrested Axact CEO Shoaib Sheikh from the company headquarters on Wednesday,  ARY News reported.

FIA conducts search in Axact building

The FIA team has again reached the FIA building and conducting search to get more evidences.

Yesterday FIA had obtained hundreds of blank degrees and some fake ID cards of students which led to arrest of Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh.

Shoaib Shaikh sent on physical remand

A judicial magistrate of Karachi on Wednesday sent Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh on an 11-day physical remand in a fake degree scam. The court ordered Shaikh in custody of Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) till June 7.

The charges against Mr. Shaikh are registered under Anti-Money Laundering Act and Electronic Transaction Ordinance.

FIA team to meet US FBI officials to expand probe

An investigation team of FIA officials is expected to meet with a team of United States FBI to further expand inquiry into Axact scam, sources said.

FIA has traced six bank accounts of Axact in US and one in UK, investigation sources said.

The authorities also trying to contact the government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) to look into the Axact operations in the Arab country.

Substantial evidence found against Axact: FIA

Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Shahid Hayat has said that a case will be registered against Axact after recovery of fake degrees and substantial forensic evidence found against the company, ARY News reports on Wednesday.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Axact Shoaib Shaikh was last night arrested and transferred to FIA centre for investigation.

Talking to media Shahid Hayat said that during the investigations ample evidence found for initiating legal action against the company.

He said that the FIA has decided to file a case against Shoaib Shaikh after recovery of a large number of fake degrees and forensic evidence.

Replying a question Hayat said that the investigations being carried out without any pressure.

The investigation agency has also arrested seven directors including the vice president of the company and co-founder of Bol TV Waqas Ateeq. Ateeq has been accused of assisting Shoaib Shaikh in fake degrees, forgery and money laundering. The accused has also been detained at the FIA centre, sources said.

Moreover, FIA officials sealed an office branch of Axact last night. A large number of alleged fake degrees and students identity cards found from the office with a printing press, FIA sources said.

FIA arrests Axact CEO Shoaib Sheikh

According to initial details, DG FIA along with a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) team led by DSP Amir Hameed arrived at an Axact office located next to the company’s headquarters in Karachi and seized thousands of fake degrees, Identity cards of students  and certificates from the place along with arresting the CEO Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh.

The degrees and other evidence was collected over the information gathered from Shoaib Sheikh as he appeared before the agency two times before the arrest. Hayat revealed before media that the team has collected enough evidence to lodge a case against Axact.

An FIR has been lodged against the Sheikh. The clauses of Pakistan Penal Code, money laundering and cyber crimes have been included in the FIR.

Six other directors of the IT company were also detained by the team. All the arrestees were moved to FIA Human Trafficking Cell in Karachi.

The Axact CEO will be presented in Special Court South today (Wednesday) at 12 PM in the afternoon.

Fake Accounts

FIA team found out that Axact was receiving all the money obtained through fraudulent means in a number of fake accounts in different bank branches across Pakistan.

The matter will also be investigated and the banks may get notices over the irregularity.

Background

A detailed NYT report written by New York Times Pakistan Bureau Chief Declan Walsh  outlined how local IT company Axact – referred to as the “secretive Pakistani software company” – allegedly earned millions of dollars from scams involving fake degrees, non-existent online universities and manipulation of customers

Pakistan authorities quickly launched an investigation into the matter and raided the offices of Axact along with investigating the CEO and employees of the company.

The matter got a lot of media attention as Axact with the help of other investors was about to launch a media channel with the name of ‘BOL’ with some of the big names rounded up on lucrative salaries for the project.


 

 

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