The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Tuesday has detained at least 71 Axact employees including the executive body members during a raid at Rawalpindi office. The department also raided Axact s office in Karachi.
The FIA has seized the main server, computers and files from the office while demanded the company to provide web hosting records for the past ten years.
Earlier, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar issued directives to the institution to hold inquiry of the matter after the New York Times published a story about issuance of millions of fake degrees by Axact.
Two separate teams of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) raided Islamabad and Karachi offices of the IT Company Axact on Tuesday and took several its employees into custody for interrogation.
The raids were conducted after the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali took notice of the New York Times’ (NYT) accusations against Pakistan-based software company Axact about its being issuing fake degrees and ordered the FIA to carry out an inquiry of the claims.
A Senate’s standing committee is likely to freeze all the back accounts and other assets of Axact.
The teams of FIA Cyber Crime department collected manuals, records and computers as evidence from the Axact offices. Several employees of the Axact were also taken into custody from Islamabad office by the FIA team. However, the agency said that employees would be freed if no charged were proved against them.
The interior minister on Tuesday ordered an immediate inquiry into a special report published by The New York Times about Axact that claimed that the company was in business of fake degrees as part of a massive, global scam.
In its reported titled “Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions” published on May 17, the NYT claimed that Axact allegedly earned millions of dollars from scams involving fake degrees, non-existent online universities and manipulation of customers.
Earlier in the day, the interior minister took notice of the issue and constituted a seven-member team to inquire about the allegations leveled against the Axact by the NYT. The minister directed the FIA to submit a report after a thorough investigation.
The interior minister said that the agency is to determine whether the contents of the NYT story are true and whether the company is involved in any illegal business which may bring a bad name to Pakistan.
Meanwhile Earlier Pakistani Blogs threatened by Axact for publishing
An independent Pakistani blogs had been threatened by Axact for publishing Twitter reactions to the report, according to local media sources.
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, people stormed social networking sites reacting to the news, according to reports.
In the midst of the social media frenzy, founder of Pak Tea House, Raza Rumi, said that his blog had been served a legal notice threatening to sue for defamation if he did not “immediately take down the links within 24 hours from receipt of this notice” to tweets mocking the company, reportedly.
The founder later on joked about not taking down the comments unless a degree from ‘Columbiana University’ was given to him, stated sources.