FIR registered against Axact CEO, six others in fake degree scam
KARACHI: A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against seven individuals including Axact director and CEO Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh as well as a UAE-based company, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) sources said on Wednesday.
According to FIA sources, FIR (7/2015) was registered through Saeed Memon — the assistant director of FIA's corporate crime circle — on behalf of the state. The individuals named in the FIR were subsequently arrested and are in FIA remand until June 7.
The FIR was registered under Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the accused have been booked under sections 420, 468, 471, 472, 473, 474, 477-A, 109 and 34.
Special laws were also invoked against the accused under sections 36 and 37 sections of the Electronic Transaction Ordinance 2002 and section 3/4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2010.
Apart from Shaikh, others accused were identified as MS/Axact FZLLC — a UAE company which holds a major chunk of shares — and Waqas Atiq, Zeeshan Anwar, Zeeshan Ahmed, Haris Siddiqi, Farhan Kamal, Umair Hamid.
According to contents of the FIR, Shaikh holds one per cent shares along with his wife Ayesha Shoaib Shaikh. However, the UAE company FZLLC holds 599,998 shares.
According to FIA sources, this information was received from the Security Exchange Company of Pakistan (SECP).
The sources familiar with content of the FIR told that Shaikh is a paid CEO as well as the director of Axact and his wife is also a paid director as per form 29 and form-A provided by SECP to the FIA for legal assistance.
In the early hours of Wednesday, Axact CEO and centre of a massive fake degree fraud, Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh was taken into custody from his office.
In the presence of officials from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as well as police, Shaikh was taken away in a white vehicle.
The arrest came after an FIA raid on the Axact office on Khayaban-e-Ittehad, where officials said a large number of university degrees and student identification cards were recovered.
Shaikh had earlier requested the Sindh High Court to grant him protective bail against a ‘potential arrest’ in the fake degrees probe currently being undertaken by the FIA. However, his request was dismissed Monday, as the bench did not find any merit in his application.
The FIA has decided to file a case against Shaikh. According to FIA officials, Shaikh would formally be arrested after registration of a first information report (FIR).
Last week, action against Axact kicked off after Nisar ordered an inquiry into the story published by The New York Times that claimed the company was issuing fake degrees as part of a massive, global scam.
The minister in his directive also said that the FIA was to determine whether the contents of the NYT story were true and whether the company was involved in any illegal business which may bring a "bad name" to Pakistan.
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