Thousands of fake degrees, printing press found at 'secret' Axact office: FIA

Published: May 27, 2015
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PHOTO: EXPRESS

PHOTO: EXPRESS

PHOTO: EXPRESS PHOTO: EXPRESS NEWS PHOTO: FORBES

KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has decided to register a case against Axact after finding ‘incriminating’ evidence of the firm running a fake degree empire in the country. 

FIA Sindh Director Shahid Hayat revealed that hundreds of thousands of degrees, student cards and other incriminating evidence had been found during a raid conducted at an Axact office on Tuesday.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh along with six directors of the company were also taken into custody by the FIA late on Tuesday after being questioned at the FIA head office in Karachi for hours. Further, it was revealed that Tuesday’s raid took place on information provided by Sheikh. Leaving the office, Sheikh said, “The truth will prevail.”

PHOTO: EXPRESS

Talking to the media late on Tuesday, Hayat said FIA had decided to lodge an FIR against Axact after emergence of ‘new irrefutable evidence’ against the so-called IT company.

“We found hundreds of thousands of degrees today. A magistrate was present during our raid. The location where we found these degrees also housed a printing press,” he revealed. Hayat went on to add that Salman would be produced before a court for remand on Wednesday.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

The case being prepared against Axact will include sections pertaining to money laundering, fraud and cyber crime. Further, an Express News correspondent revealed that Axact office raided on Tuesday did not bear the company’s name.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

Following a New York Times report exposing Axact’s degree empire, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar ordered FIA to conduct an inquiry into the company’s dubious online college websites.

Nisar also allowed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to seek assistance of foreign experts to probe this scandal, he added.

Read: Pakistan approaches FBI to probe Axact scandal

On Tuesday, a former employee of Axact revealed that the company used to coerce customers into buying degrees irrespective of their academic qualification.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

“We used to telephone potential customers and tell them that they qualify for a degree of such and such university on the basis of their experience,” the former Axact employee, Taha Jatoi, said in a television show on Monday.

PHOTO: EXPRESS

He said the company’s sales pitch used to be that a person can get any qualification for a reasonable amount. “We had targets. Our agenda used to be getting more and more enrollments for the assigned universities,” he revealed.

Unabated disclosures: Axact’s ex-employee spills the beans

New York Times reporter Declan Walsh, whose expose uncovered Axact’s fake degree empire, has also released documents pertaining to his investigations into the IT company’s dubious online college websites.

Read: Diploma mill scandal: Walsh releases Axact investigation documents

The documents were shared by Walsh using the online file sharing service Dropbox on Saturday. They include scans of registration documents for the mailboxes of Belford High School and Belford University in Texas and California, a copy of Axact’s internal publication, screen grabs from the school owner’s testimony, an image of the location listed as the address for the bogus International Accreditation Organisation and scans of an article in Arab News which linked Axact with fake degrees being sold abroad.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • Shah
    May 27, 2015 - 2:20AM

    Not the richest man in world, but atleast you are the biggest diploma mill scam holder, so that keep you satisfied in your jailtermRecommend

  • Ali
    May 27, 2015 - 2:27AM

    The more I look at this person, the more I’m convinced this person is a fraudster.Recommend

  • May 27, 2015 - 2:33AM

    why didn’t FIA reacted the same way after BBC’s full documentary on Sharif’s money laundering and corruption with all the evidence!!!! same goes with zardari’s corruptionRecommend

  • troller
    May 27, 2015 - 2:35AM

    are these the same FIA guys who never bothered to put their hands on corrupt politicians and the cancerous police? there are bigger crooks and organized criminals than shoaib sheikh. its been proved that ch nisar and other politicians took immediate action in this case to please their investors from geo and other media houses. i wish we as a nation would show similar reaction against all evils…we wont !!!Recommend

  • Farooq Ahmed
    May 27, 2015 - 3:00AM

    Axact selling couple of fake certificates to few individuals in America is the biggest problem of Pakistan. Terrorism, suicide attacks, corruption in our country is all a by product of what axact is doing. We do not even need any investigation to complete, we will declare them guilty already. Recommend

  • asad
    May 27, 2015 - 3:05AM

    Don’t tell me people are still going to defend Axact, BOL etc.Recommend

  • kulwant singh
    May 27, 2015 - 4:24AM

    Truth will prevail, said Saikh Sahib it is not his fault this in our genes even if Govt official is caught red handed in the presence of two witnesses , he will say what Mr. Saikh said, he is not Bill Clinton who will appear on TV and say that I have committed a mistake and I am sorry for that but he is spinning stories.Recommend

  • Vikran
    May 27, 2015 - 4:26AM

    END OF AXACT In Sha AllahRecommend

  • Jibran
    May 27, 2015 - 4:35AM

    Nothing new. Axact has already been saying that they provide back-end support to their customers, which includes all logistics as well. Unless one of the directors starts singing, or the customers point fingers, there is nothing substantial. Recommend

  • AVMPolpot
    May 27, 2015 - 4:49AM

    So who will replace Axact ?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    as the largest IT Software giant in Pakistan? Recommend

  • MK
    May 27, 2015 - 5:40AM

    Game Over. Recommend

  • Prada
    May 27, 2015 - 6:20AM

    Asian Paper Tiger !Recommend

  • May 27, 2015 - 6:30AM

    Before you close down, please wait for Rahul Gandhi and Robert Vadra to get their degrees.Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    May 27, 2015 - 7:09AM

    This is the result when you are blinded by your ambition to be richer than Bill Gates at all cost. Shoab Shaikh’ degree mill rivals Agha Waqar’s water car in fooling millions in their face.Recommend

  • fact is fact
    May 27, 2015 - 7:23AM

    @Farooq Ahmed:
    i guess you have no idea what this would mean for pak graduates working around the world or thinking of working outside pakistan. It will effect the career of thousands of pakistani working abroad. now no one will trust even the educated society of pakistan. this Axact and then that educated BBA killer of Sabeen mahmud. People need to think again where Pakistan is going. Focus on each problem specifically Education and other problems will be solved easilyRecommend

  • ali khan
    May 27, 2015 - 7:30AM

    Good work by Kamran Attahullah, Director FIA to close the loop in a decisive operation. The public regulating itself is the way forward via a nexus between law enforcers, media and responsible citizens who speak up.Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    May 27, 2015 - 8:01AM

    At the very outset I must record my utmost appreciation for Interior Minister Ch Nisar who very urgently took cognizance of such burning news and issued instructions to our law enforcing agencies to come into immediate action and had the minister not taken it up alike then I believe the fake degrees issue had died out and after some days none could even remember it. Secondly I simply cannot help writing that Delcan Wash must be very suitably honored for telling us about fake degrees issued by Axact and I am sure President Mamnoon and Prime Minister Nawaz cannot be ignorant on the issue and rather on the contra by now they must have issued instructions to the concerned officials to contact Declan and make arrangements for holding a function in Islamabad honoring Delcan. I must salute both Ch Nisar and Delcan. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidi4merdiplomat@hotmail.comRecommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 27, 2015 - 8:13AM

    @troller:
    @LA:
    I think you guys have also fake degrees from Axact. Recommend

  • Imran
    May 27, 2015 - 8:55AM

    Its a media campaign with an angle and purely in aelf interest of nedia houses. Go and fing tax scams of Geo, but you will not as fellow brother!Recommend

  • Waseem S Gondal
    May 27, 2015 - 9:07AM

    This exactly should have happened to Axact. An IT company into diploma mill scam, may Allah TWT protect us from the greedy entrepreneurs like this Sheikh.Recommend

  • Usman
    May 27, 2015 - 9:20AM

    Let us see, were the degrees actually there, or they were planted by Seth media and pakistani police. By the way, Pakistani police is also renowned for placing evidence where ever they want and this is the reason of pathetic situation in Pakistan. Lets pray that truth should come out quickly.Recommend

  • Faizan
    May 27, 2015 - 9:22AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    @LA is right. All criminals should be brought to justice, be it axact ceo, ppp leader, pmln leader or pti. When you catch selective criminals than there is something wrong with the justice system.Recommend

  • Myrrit Sipra
    May 27, 2015 - 9:46AM

    @Ali: Well, look in the mirror, and maybe you’ll find yourself eligible to be placed in this rogues’ gallery.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    May 27, 2015 - 9:47AM

    @Jibran:
    Curious that none of those “Customers” have been identified by Axact PR flacks!!!
    However, great pictures of blank degrees from non-existent universities!
    Also you missed previous article where pictured faculty turned out to be pictures just lifted from Internet and retitled!Recommend

  • Aik_Paki
    May 27, 2015 - 9:49AM

    @AVMPolpot:
    GEO Group another fraudlant Organization working under a Pakistan court convicted person Mir Shakeel.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    May 27, 2015 - 9:58AM

    Mr.Shaikh reminds me of Salman Butt. Even after being caught red-handed, he says things like “truth will prevail” etc etc. Mr.Shaikh, truth HAS prevailed. The only thing left to do is show remorse and hope you can get away with a lighter punishment. Your “World’s leading IT company” is finished and so is your media business.Recommend

  • wb
    May 27, 2015 - 9:59AM

    I fail to understand why the company did not bother to destroy evidence, once the news came out? Were they waiting to get exposed?Recommend

  • Adeel Mirza
    May 27, 2015 - 10:13AM

    Despite the fact that Axact is the most biggest IT scam in Pakistan, I would like to know why FIA and other intelligence agencies did not respond earlier and allow Axact/Bol to grow on this huge scale. Law enforcement/intel agencies are equally responsible and this scam should be a wake call for entire nation. We should identify all unlawful activities happening in Pakistan and bring each and every culprit to court of law.Recommend

  • Imtiaz
    May 27, 2015 - 10:15AM

    Am I the only one (other than CEO Axact) who thinks that it’s a conspiracy..?Recommend

  • Ashraf
    May 27, 2015 - 10:18AM

    @AVMPolpot: Another “World’s Leading IT company” will rise in place of Axact. This time specializing in fake currency.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    May 27, 2015 - 10:22AM

    @wb: The printing press and the blank degrees were in a secret location within the building. The entrance was through a cupboard that nobody could find out where it was.Recommend

  • dada
    May 27, 2015 - 10:35AM

    Yatha Raja Tatha Praja! Pakistani state & its criminal agencies prints fake Indian and US currencies. After all degrees are for making cash for both receipent and publisher.Recommend

  • May 27, 2015 - 3:55PM

    There were lot of complains and comments on various forums since 3/4 years if you google the axact but nobody was paying attention to this. An now all of sudden things changed. BOL is the catalyst to all this.Recommend

  • adnan
    May 27, 2015 - 4:04PM

    every one knew what axact was doing since the first story of essays came out…. This case will also just be placed on back burner as it is impossible to prove money earned by the university are transferred to axact unless foreign countries catch people whose names were used to open the university… it i san extremely complicated case to prove but the eye brows are definitely raised the way FIA is speeding this up while rest of the cases are on the back burner which might be more easier that this…..

    no sympathy for axact/bol but justice is not the winner here..
    power, thug politicians and media tycoos are the winners….Recommend

  • saeed
    May 28, 2015 - 11:24AM

    media rivelery, or political wars. this is going to impact us abroad, our degrees already being suspected and declared bogus. this shouldnt be given hype in the mediaRecommend

  • Ali
    May 29, 2015 - 10:59PM

    Guys thinking that Axact is innocent, please use some common sense and little bit of research.
    Here is the link to NYT list of fake universities which Axact runs….
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/world/asia/tracking-axacts-websites.html?referrer=
    There is a similar pattern of website designs, no physical addresses of universities, similar / identical contact numbers and same “live chat” engine for all the schools and universities. All the accreditation bodies are fake…
    They played with the lives of thousands..the owner cannot talk properly and looks cunning and shameless.
    Such a disgrace and shame. May he rot in jail forever.Recommend

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