Axact Scandal: FBI and Interpol Called in - Nisar
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Saturday the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol are being contacted for assistance in Axact’s fake diploma scandal.
“In light of the developments that have come through in the inquiry conducted by the FIA so far, we have decided to write to the FBI within the next two days to ask for legal assistance,” the interior minister said, while addressing the media in Islamabad.
Further, he said the interior ministry will contact the Interpol for assistance as well and if need be British authorities.
“We are contacting Interpol because we can seek information from them on the universities mentioned in the report,” the interior minister upheld.
Nisar added, “The SECP, FBR, PTA and Pakistan Software Association have been briefed by FIA regarding developments in the case.”
“The initial inquiry will be completed within the next seven to 10 days and after that we will decide the next step to take and whether an FIR should be registered,” Nisar added.
Assuring a fair and transparent investigation will be carried out to probe the Axact scandal, Nisar said, “We will not succumb to any pressure.”
The interior minister admitted he directed the FIA to inquire into Axact following a report published in the New York Times.
“The interior ministry is only concerned in the Axact case because it was report published in an international newspaper and I decided we had to take action.”
Claiming that the time frame for investigations is 90 days, Nisar said, “As this is a sensitive case we are trying to complete investigations in the minimum time required.”
Further, he urged media to not give in to speculation and not quote FIA sources in reports as it is an investigative body.
Earlier this week, a New York Times report unveiled Axact’s role in selling fake degrees online.
Following the report claiming Axact ran a fake education empire that involved paid actors promoting fictitious universities and even fake State Department authentication certifications bearing the signature of John Kerry, FIA teams raided the company’s head office in Karachi and regional offices in the twin-cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on the directives of Nisar.
Ever since the FIA has started visiting Axact headquarters, the attendance of the company’s employees has been low. Sources said routine work at the company has been suspended since the investigation was launched.
The employees that do go to work appear to be afraid of facing the journalists camped outside the head office. Every employee tries to leave the premises discreetly.
“I don’t think the senior employees will resume their jobs,” an employee conjectured. He said every member of the staff, from top to bottom, felt insecure in the present circumstances. “How can an employee face the FIA’s questions and the media’s cameras?”
Further, in a major twist to the fake degree scam, UAE daily Khaleej Times has found out that Axact’s offices in Dubai have remained closed for more than two years.
Khaleej Times visited three locations listed as Axact offices in online business directories and found only one bearing the company’s name: a small leased space inside a business centre managed by Tecom in Dubai Media City is all that remains of Axact’s Dubai operations.
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