Pakistan raids software company said to market fake degrees

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KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani federal investigators on Tuesday raided multiple offices of a software company after a report in The New York Times said it made millions of dollars marketing fake degrees worldwide, officials said.

The raids in the southern city of Karachi and elsewhere came after the report said the Axact company marketed online degrees from several nonexistent schools and universities, charging clients thousands of dollars for fake credentials.

Shahid Hayat, director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), confirmed that an investigation has been launched into the company.

Pakistani special FIA teams raided the offices hours after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan asked authorities to investigate whether the Times report was accurate.

In Karachi, a senior officer at the FIA, Kamran Attaullah, told reporters that they had registered a case and were investigating the allegations against the software company.

"Today, we raided the offices of Axact. We will investigate to unearth whether a complaint against the company regarding fake degrees business is true," he said.

Ataullah said that no employees or anyone else connected to Axaxt has so far been arrested.

Another FIA official said some computers data was copied during the four-hour-long operation at the main Axact office and that some hard drives and other gadgets were confiscated for detailed investigation. He said some sections inside the multistory building were also sealed during the raid. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

However, the company denied the allegations and sin the report and said it will take legal action against the newspaper.

"Axact's Online Education Management System is World's Leader outside North America," it said "And Axact is now collaborating with other renowned education groups in the USA to provide its Education Management System and is poised to be a major player in the online education industry of USA by 2018".

The company, which is likely to soon launch a news channel, insisted it was not involved in any illegal activity.

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