ISLAMABAD: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zafar Hijazi said Tuesday that the commission can only take action against local IT company Axact after completion of investigation into its involvement in a fake degrees scandal by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
“We did not know that a company registered in the name of IT was indulging in some other business,” he said, adding that around the world there are authorities which monitor the businesses of companies.
The Senate committee was told that notices have also issued to Bol TV and other affiliated departments working with Axact.
A detailed NYT report titled “Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions” and written by New York Times Pakistan bureau chief Declan Walsh outlined how Axact — referred to as a “secretive Pakistani software company” — allegedly earned millions of dollars from scams involving fake degrees, non-existent online universities and manipulation of customers.
According to the report, Axact created a series of fake websites involving “professors” and students who it said were in fact paid actors.
Action against Axact kicked off after Nisar ordered an inquiry into the story published by The New York Times. FIA officers had swooped on the Karachi headquarters of the company, seizing equipment and records and expelling employees from the building.
The interior minister had earlier assured that the ministry will not bear pressure from any individual regarding investigation of the Axact scandal. He added that the investigation will be fair and transparent in this regard.
Almost a week after the federal agency began investigating Axact, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against its CEO Shoaib Shaikh and six others, who were taken into custody for questioning. Shaikh and four others were later sent on remand by a judicial magistrate in the custody of FIA.
A couple of days ago, FIA Sindh Director Shahid Hayat claimed sufficient evidence had been collected against an information technology firm involved in a fake degree scam.
“We have got sufficient evidence to prove the wrongdoings of software company Axact in a court,” he said at a press conference at his office and later talking to media.
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