ISLAMABAD/KARACHI  - An FIA team again raided the head office of IT firm Axact on Wednesday for further investigation into the fake degrees scam.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) headed by deputy director Kamran Ata raided Axact Karachi office to further probe the matter on the basis of information gathered after Tuesday raids.

FIA has summoned Chairman Axact Shoaib Shaikh on Thursday (today).

Meanwhile, a separate team of FIA Cyber Crime Department also visited Axact's Karachi office on Wednesday.

In Islamabad, the department carried out a second raid in two days at the firm’s office. The FIA team in Islamabad sought firm's transactions record for the past 10 years.

American newspaper New York Times in an exclusive report had said that Axact was involved in fake degrees business in its worldwide operations. The report authored by Doclan Walsh, claimed that the company was earning millions of dollars in its fictitious business.

Sources said that forensic study of 40 computers of Axact was being conducted. The computers were taken into custody by the FIA officials on Tuesday.

Moreover, 23 employees of the company have been released after recording their statements, while the statements of remaining detainees will be recorded on Wednesday (today).

Investigation sources said that FIA had unearthed six Axact websites being operated from Pakistan. Remaining websites of the company had been based in Middle East and Cyprus, sources said.

FIA's Cyber Crime Wing, in its raids on Axact's Karachi and Islamabad offices, took custody of data from key departments including human resources.

The main computer server was also seized and web hosting record of the company for the past 10 years was sought.

FIA took 32 staffers into custody.

The team is headed by Sindh Director Shahid Hayat and involves Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Meanwhile, the FIA on Wednesday dispatched an initial report into the fake degree scandal to the Interior Ministry.

The report carries statements of 23 employees, data retrieved from two main servers and as many as 40 computers.

Earlier, the FIA Corporate Crime Circle issued an official notification ordering Axact chief executive officer (CEO) Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh to appear before the department for interrogation in the fake degrees scandal.

The department had summoned Shoaib to make sure authenticity of the documents seized from the Axact offices. However, in a reply from Axact, the department was informed that Sheikh was unable to appear on Wednesday. The company added that the CEO will appear before authorities on Thursday (today).

Minister of State for IT Anusha Rehman stated Wednesday that Axact scandal was a necessary outcome of the absence of a cyber crime law.

She expressed these remarks during a meeting of the NA Standing Committee chaired by Captain (r) Safdar.

The minister stated that this scandal had proved that cyber crime could easily take place in the country.

"They are the one who do not want passage of cyber crime bill," she added.

Monitoring adds: Talking to media, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan Wednesday assured the Senate, National Assembly and media that transparent investigations and complete scrutiny would be conducted of Axact company.

Interior Minister Ch Nisar said that matter was sensitive and asked media to refrain from jumping to hasty conclusions while investigations were underway.

Ch Nisar said standing committee for investigation of Axact had not been changed. He also denied the fact that any person serving in Axact had been put on ECL.

Talking about tragedy of Safoora Chowrangi, the interior minister said that a few people having connection with the massacre had been arrested.

Condemning the attack on Ismaili community, Ch Nisar said whole nation was saddened by the violent attack on the peace loving community.

He said the majority of terrorists involved in the operation had been arrested while an operation was underway to apprehend rest of the culprits.

The Interior Ministry, reports said, has given permission to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to register cases against Axact for allegedly issuing fake degrees.

FIA had sought permission from the ministry to register cases against Axact in light of its investigation and evidences. The cases will be registered in Islamabad and Karachi.

Morsi’s death sentence

saddens Ch Nisar

Interior Minister Ch Nisar has expressed his dejection over the death sentence for Egyptian President Morsi, according to a press release.

“The Government of Pakistan may or may not have an opinion on the death sentence of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi but as a Muslim and Pakistani, I feel extremely saddened and disappointed by what has happened.”

He said this is a tragedy not only for democracy and rule of law in Egypt “but a matter of serious concern for all those people around the world including myself who wish the best to Egypt and its people.”

He said, “I strongly and earnestly believe that political issues cannot be addressed or resolved in this manner.”