Pakistan

Two US military officers faced court martial for academic credentials issued by Axact-run varsity: NYT

KARACHI: The New York Times, which unearthed the global fake degree empire run by Axact from Karachi, is unremitting in coming up with follow-up revelations. In its latest report, the Times that an American married couple, both members of the United States military serving in Iraq, emailed Axact in 2009 to say that they faced court martial for having presented academic credentials bought from a university run by Axact.

NYT, citing two former Axact officials, said “the couple requested an accreditation certificate from the university to help defend themselves, said Ahmed [one of the employees], a former sales agent who asked that his last name not be used. An Axact manager instructed subordinates to block the couple’s calls, he said.”

Investigators on Wednesday arrested the head of the Axact Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh accused of running a global fake degree empire and conducted fresh raids at its Karachi headquarters where they discovered thousands of blank diplomas.

Shaikh, the CEO of software house Axact, revealed the location of the blank degrees that were ready for printing as well as fake student ID cards during the course of his interrogation, magistrate Javed Malik told reporters.

Another magistrate, Noor Mohammad Kalmati, on Wednesday remanded Shaikh into the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for seven days after he was formally charged, a court and FIA officials said.

Shaikh and six other company directors have been charged under laws relating to fraud, cheating, money-laundering and illegal electronic money transfer, the officials said.

Pakistan began investigating Axact after it was accused by the New York Times earlier this month of running a network of websites for phoney universities as part of an elaborate scheme that generated tens of millions of dollars annually.

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