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FIA takes Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh into custody

KARACHI: Axact CEO and centre of a massive fake degree fraud, Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh was taken into custody in the early hours of Wednesday 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.

Sheikh and seven other directors will be produced before a banking court on Wednesday morning.

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.

FIA sources said Wednesday that a First Information Report (FIR) for Shaikh and six others in custody is yet to be registered. The official added that the draft for the FIR is being prepared and that a decision will be made by 3pm.

The FIA raid last night recovered fake degrees from 44 universities, a printing press and degree-awarding scripts of various universities. A soft copy of university monograms was also recovered, FIA sources said.

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. DNA

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