Axact CEO Given Physical Remand Till June 7th

Following the arrest of Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh late Tuesday night, the Axact CEO, along with four others including Viqas Atiq where given a physical remand up till June 7th. Noor Muhammad, the South district judicial magistrate, presided over the hearing and made the announcement of the physical remand.

The Axact CEO had been arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) late Tuesday night after hundreds of thousands of fake student ID cards and degrees had been discovered by the investigators from a secret office of the firm in Karachi. Piles of degree templates had been unearthed belonging to different universities by the Sindh Director of the FIA, who was also accompanied by a Special Investigation Unit of the Sindh Police.

After the late night swoop, six directors and Shaikh himself had been taken into custody by the FIA. In addition, a case was also registered against the CEO and Axact with sections related to cyber-crimes and money-laundering incorporated in the FIR. The Axact office in Rawalpindi had also been raided again by an FIA team later in the evening. They also conducted a search of Axact CEO’s residential rooms as well as that of Axact regional director Col (retired) Jamil. During this raid, about six computers and some other electronic devices were confiscated.

On Monday, the FIA had grilled Shaikh for several hours at their FIA headquarters where he had tried to explain his position. The CEO had been called again the next day for further questioning. This investigation had continued for several hours and had led to the arrest of the CEO at midnight. The details of Axact’s accounts in about five banks are being investigated by the FIA. Shaikh had filed a plea for protective bail, but the Sindh High Court had rejected it a couple of days ago.

Released last week, the New York Times report had accused the Karachi-based company of issuing fake degrees and diplomas from a host of online universities and also running a bogus accreditation system that went as far as boasting verifications from the US State Department with John Kerry’s forged signatures.