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Software and media magnate arrested on suspicion of selling fake degrees

Authorities in Pakistan have taken the owner of a Karachi-based software and media company into custody following media reports that he led a global network selling fake university degrees.

On 17 May, The New York Times published the results of an investigation documenting evidence that the Axact company, based in Karachi, was responsible for the operation of a widespread scam selling degrees from fake institutions around the world. And on 27 May, The Guardian reported that the owner of Axact, Shoaib Shaikh, had been detained by authorities following a raid on the company’s offices in which police seized thousands of fake degree certificates.

The company has strongly denied the allegations, posting on its website on 18 May that the original investigation in The New York Times was “baseless, substandard, maligning, defamatory and based on false accusations”. And it has followed this up by posting several videos from Shaikh on social media, appealing to the Pakistani justice system to refute the allegations.

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