FIA Questions CEO of Axact

Shoaib Sheikh, the CEO of Axact, and the central character in the scandal of fake degrees appeared in front of the Corporate Crime Circle of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday for the purposes of interrogation. He was being questioned by Shahid Hayat, the Director FIA Sindh. Along with the CEO himself, four other senior employees of Axact also appeared, which included the heads of the company’s Human Resource and Accounts departments. The FIA Deputy Directors Kamran Attaullah and Ashfaque Alam were also present during the interrogation.

The CEO of the ‘world’s largest software maker’ is being probed for an allegedly huge scam of selling fake academic degrees online. Mr. Shaikh said that he had brought the financial documents requested by the FIA with him. Sources have revealed that the FIA investigators requested the CEO to bring a list of expenses, which he was unable to provide. It was further revealed that the FIA has asked Axact to provide documents related to its affiliation with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), No-Objection Certificates (NOC) of educational institutes and documents pertaining to revenues from the fees that were earned.

Questioning continued for more than two hours at the FIA office. The CEO had been grilled by the FIA investigators on Monday for six hours straight and was called in for questioning again today with the instruction of bringing other documents relating to the finances of the company. Reporters were told by FIA Director Hayat on Monday that other employees would also be interrogated today, along with Mr. Shaikh.

On Monday, the CEO of the company had been asked about the various bank accounts of the firm and the issuance of fake degrees. According to him, the CEO had promised that he would produce the required documents today. Sources had informed GEO News that the FIA has made the decision of lodging an FIR against Axact after ‘new irrefutable evidence’ has emerged against the IT Company in the ongoing investigation of the fake degree scandal. According to these sources, the FIR will be lodged against the firm in the next 48 hours. Furthermore, it will not just be lodged against the owner, but also the other high-officials of the software company.

The entire Axact scandal of selling fake degrees online had first come to light when an investigative report had been published by the New York Times. The report had claimed that the Pakistani firm had earned millions of dollars by scamming people in the US and other oil-rich Gulf countries by selling them fake degrees from fake universities. The whole setup had been very elaborate with certificates being issued from more than 300 universities that only existed on paper and in pictures. Following the story, the Pakistan Authorities had taken action quickly as the FIA was immediately ordered by Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to initiate a probe into the fake degree scam.

In response to the story, Axact had denied all such claims and deemed it to be a half-cooked conspiracy theory.