KARACHI: The Federal Investigation Agency from the cyber crime wing raided the Karachi and Rawalpindi offices of software company Axact on Tuesday, Aaj News reported.
The team was led by top police officer Shahid Hayat Khan, director FIA along with six other officials.
The team arreseted several employees from the Karachi and Rawalpindi offices. The FIA has asked details of all employees from both offices.
At the Rawalpindi office computer servers have been confiscated.
The FIA has also asked for the name of the company which designed the software house’s website.
The raid took place to investigate an alleged fake degree scam that the New York Times reported. The company was alleged of reaping millions of dollars by providing bogus degree.
Axact has rejected all allegations of the NYT report, calling it fake and an attempt at defamation.
The move came shortly after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the agency to probe “if the said company is involved in any such illegal work which can tarnish the good image of the country in the world”.
The report by the New York Times, which quoted former employees and analysed more than 370 websites of fake universities, accreditation bodies and other purported institutions, sparked a wave of criticism on social media even as the company denied wrongdoing.
Axact’s media venture named Bol is set to launch a news channel, featuring leading TV anchors and journalists lured from previous employers by high salaries, heightening interest in the story.
The NYT article cited clients from the US, Britain and the United Arab Emirates who had paid sums ranging from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars for their degrees — with some believing the universities were real and they would soon receive coursework.
The “university” websites mainly route their traffic through servers run by companies registered in Cyprus and Latvia, and employees would plant fictitious reports about Axact universities on CNN iReport, a website for citizen journalism.
Axact and its CEO, Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh, did not respond to requests from AFP for comment on Monday or Tuesday.