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Pakistan Arrests Owner Of 'Fake Degree Factory'

Axact Chief Executive Officer, Shoaib Sheikh (C) talks with journalists outside Sindh High court in Karachi on May 25

Pakistani investigators on May 27 arrested the head of a firm accused of running a global fake degree company and conducted fresh raids at the firm's Karachi headquarters, where they said they discovered thousands of blank diplomas.

Magistrate Javed Malik told reporters that Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, the CEO of software house Axact, revealed the location of the blank degrees that were ready for printing, as well as fake student ID cards, during the course of an interrogation.

Shaikh is currently in the custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and is expected to be presented before a court to be formally charged later on May 27.

Pakistani authorities began investigating Axact after it was accused by The New York Times earlier this month of running a network of websites for phony universities as part of an elaborate scheme that generated tens of millions of dollars annually.

Islamabad has also sought the FBI and Interpol's assistance in the probe.

Based on reporting by AFP