Axact fake degree scam: 35 more foreign accounts unearthed

KARACHI: A local court in Karachi on Tuesday granted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) permission to probe 35 bank accounts linked to Axact, the Pakistani IT firm accused of making millions of dollars selling fake degrees online.

According to sources in the FIA, the ongoing investigation into the company’s activities has revealed 35 foreign bank accounts in USA, UAE and Singapore.

Investigators have also unearthed 19 Axact-linked off-shore companies based in USA, Britain, UAE, Ireland, Greece, and Singapore.

The company became the centre of a criminal probe after leading Amercian newspaper New York Times published an investigative story accusing the company of being a ‘diploma mill’, running an elaborate global operation duping prospective students and selling fake degrees online.

Shortly after the story caused ripples in the Pakistani media, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered the FIA to launch an investigation into the allegations.

In following raids, the investigative agency said it recovered thousands of blank diplomas and student ID cards from the company’s Karachi and Rawalpindi offices. The FIA has pressed charges against the owners of the company and taken its CEO, Shoaib Shaikh and several other top managers into custody.