Sunday, November 28, 2021

Karachi court indicts Axact CEO in money laundering case

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An additional district and sessions court on Wednesday indicted Axact chief executive Shoaib Shaikh and others in a multi-million money laundering case.

District and Sessions judge (South), during a hearing of the case earlier today, announced the indictment. Along with Shaikh, the other suspects include Mohammad Junaid and Younis.

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The judge summoned the witnesses in the case during the next court hearing, which is scheduled for July 4.

The suspects denied the charges.

Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh has been accused by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of having illegally transferred Rs170.17 million to a Dubai-based firm, Chanda Exchange Company, in April 2014.

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Shaikh was arrested by the FIA on February 26 this year, after the Sindh High Court rejected his protective bail application which was submitted after the court approved the FIA’s appeal against the acquittal of those accused in the money laundering case.

The Axact scandal surfaced in May 2015, when The New York Times published a report claiming the company sold fake diplomas and degrees online through hundreds of fictitious schools, making “tens of millions of dollars annually”.

In January 2018, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar took suo motu notice of the Axact fake degree scandal after international news reports once again revealed that over 3,000 UK citizens had purchased fake degrees from Axact in 2013 and 2014.

The apex court also took notice of the money laundering case after the fake degree re-emerged, subsequently directing the Sindh and Islamabad high courts to promptly decide all pending cases against the company.

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