Exactly How Exact can be Axact
How to be exact in saying something when we live in the times of Axact? Does the name sound familiar? It should bring back memories of fake degrees, a Pakistan IT company, FIA’s investigation on the company in 2015 and The New York Times investigative report that initially unveiled the fake degrees business. Now that we have done a bit of a recap, let us come to present day situation on Axact.
BBC Radio 4’s File on Four programme carried out a recent investigation that found thousands of UK nationals also bought fake degrees from the Pakistani software company. The buyers of degrees include people from medical field. There are reports of NHS consultants and nurses to have purchased diplomas and degrees.
More than 3000 fake Axact qualifications were sold to buyers in UK in 2013 and 2014. The investigation reveals people to have spent hefty sum of money to acquire master’s degrees, even doctorates and PhDs. People have spent around 500,000 pounds on these fake documents.
It is alarming and also quite concerning for the health care system in UK that so many of the NHS employees went to a scam company to acquire false qualifications.
A consultant in a London teaching hospital, consultant in pediatric emergency medicine, an anaesthetist were all found to have fake degrees with some not realizing the company to be a sham.
This may sound strange, but purchasing a fake diploma was not illegal in the UK. Using it to apply somewhere is considered fraud. Why would anyone purchase a fake document if they are not going to use it?
After the New York Times investigative reporting on Axact in 2015, the CEO, Shoaib Ahmad Sheikh was arrested. The senior manager Umair Hamid was got sentenced for 21 months in a US prison last year.
What is the final verdict of Pakistani government about this Karachi based IT company running a fraudulent business? Last year, a judge confessed having received a bribe of Rs 5 million to acquit Shoaib Sheikh in the fake degree scandal.