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UK offers assistance to Pakistan in fake degree scam

LONDON: The British Home Office has offered Pakistan assistance in investigating the fake degree scandal, local media reports said.

A spokesperson of UK Home Office said that the UK would support “any criminal investigation into the production of false degree certification” if a request is made by the government of Pakistan adding that no such application had yet been received.

The New York Times in an investigative report published last week, accused Karachi based IT company Axact of running a ‘fake degree mill’ believed to have issued tens of thousands of bogus diplomas online.

The suspicions have grown that several people in the UK may have also been issued similar fake qualifications by the company.

A Home Office spokesman said that the UK authorities will help Pakistan into the false degrees scandal that has rocked the world.

The spokesman said that the current British government initiated a massive crackdown on bogus educational institutions back in 2010 to ensure that abuse of the system is stopped.

The Home Office spokesman expressed determination that the con-men and fraudsters doing business in the name of education will not be tolerated. “The government will not allow bogus colleges to cheat the rules and we have closed down more than 850 of these organisations since 2010. We will continue curbing abuse, being more robust with institutions that have high rates of students overstaying and looking to toughen English language requirements for students”.

The UK offer comes a day after Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced that his ministry would contact US agency Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) and the Interpol for assistance in the Axact scandal in the next two days.

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