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FIA sends initial report of Axact case to Interior Ministry

RAWALPINDI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday dispatched an initial report of the Axact fake degree scandal to the Interior Ministry. The report carries statements of at least 23 employees, data retrieved from two main servers and as many as 40 computers.

The department FIA sends initial report of Axact scandal to Interior has carried out a second raid in two days at the Axact Rawalpindi office. Earlier, the institution issued an official notification ordering Axact chief executive officer (CEO) Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh to appear before the department for interrogation in the fake degrees scandal.

Axact chief executive officer (CEO) Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh on Wednesday sent a written statement to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) while human resource (HR) manager Ali Ghufran also recorded his statement before authorities.

According to the written statement sent by Axact CEO, the company is not involved in illegal activites and the allegations are entirely baseless and false. All the employees and administration of the company are cooperating with the authorities.

Separately, Axact HR manager took around an hour to get his statement recorded before the FIA authorities. The statement highlights that the company denies the allegations of provision of millions of fake degrees. All the activities are conducted under the rules and allegations.

However, the FIA authorities said that Axact CEO would be summoned in person after the investigations are completed.

An initial report of the case has been dispatched to the Interior Ministry. Statements of at least 23 employees and data retrieved from two main servers and as many as 40 computers have been included in the report.

Earlier, FIA team carried out a second raid in two days at the company’sRawalpindi office.

The New York Times (NYT) has stated that Pakistan took action against the company after the story was published and it is hard to say that the government had no clue about what Axact was doing.

According to a TV report, a former female employee of the targeted company has revealed that lawsuits follow the people who wish to resign and they are dragged in courts. She said that the employees are subjected to foul language and threats. She further said that it is like a crime gang which is easy to join but nearly impossible to quit.

A welder in Dubai has been reportedly fired by his employer after the Axact controversy. According to him, he got the degree from Axact for at least US $7,000 which he paid from borrowed money.

The teams had recovered specimens of fake degrees, seals and key documents that potentially implicate Axact of the allegations.

FIA’s cyber crime wing raided Axact’s Karachi and Islamabad offices took control of data from key departments including Human Resources.

The team is headed by Sindh Director Shahid Hayat and involves Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The FIA had left two personnel overnight at the headquarters in Karachi and this morning the Deputy Director FIA Corporate Crime Circle Kamran Atta arrived followed by Assistant Director Corporate Crime Circle Saeed Memon.

High-ranking officials of the company were also arriving at the office; however, the staff presence was low.

The Sindh Board of Revenue has issued notices to Axact. The notices seek details of advertisements, franchises and sales tax details of the restaurant present inside the company’s building.

According to the Sindh Board of Revenue Chairman a reply from Axact has been summoned in seven days.

According to sources the FIA’s Cyber Crime Cell will be tasked with recovering deleted Axact data.

30 terabytes of data have been recovered from the company’s headquarters inKarachi. Sources add that it may take 10-15 days to go through this data and for this purpose FIA personnel and machines will be brought from Islamabad.

Deputy Director FIA Corporate Crime Circle Kamran Atta told reporters that the statement of the Axact Human Resources (HR) head was being recorded. He added that the FIA forensics team was present at the IT company’s headquarters.

Regional executives of Axact have been summoned to the FIA Iqbal Town Rawalpindi Office tomorrow (Thursday).

The summoned executives will be questioned over the activities of the IT company.

According to sources they will also be asked about the universities which were being used and were mentioned in the NYT report.


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