Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh. — FIA

Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh. — FIA

A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Monday granted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) physical remand of Axact Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh for another two days in a Rs1.5 million bribery case registered against him.

The FIA arrested Shaikh on March 9 for allegedly giving Rs1.5m as bribery to then-additional district and sessions judge Pervaizul Qadir Memon for getting acquittal in a fake degree case. He had been in the FIA’s custody for the last three days.

The FIA officials arraigned him before the court after the completion of his two-day physical remand.

The court accepted the extension request and remanded Shaikh for two more days in police custody for further investigation.

Today’s proceedings

At the outset of the hearing today, the investigation officer sought an extension in the Axact CEO remand, maintaining that it was required to complete the probe in the case.

The official apprised the court that he has contacted the relevant forum to obtain the details of the suspect’s bank accounts.

The court observed that a clip of a telephonic conversation between the former judge and Tahir Wafai is available with the Islamabad High Court (IHC), adding that the clip could be used as a “connection” with the Axact boss. A letter has been sent to the court for obtaining a copy of the audio tape, the court observed.

Meanwhile, Shaikh’s counsel told the court that his client was suffering from multiple health issues and sought the court’s order to shift Shaikh to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS). Turning down the request, the court stated that it could not order PIMS to admit Shaikh.

Shaikh had confessed to having carried out a transaction worth Rs1,500,000 to the judge, the court mentioned in its written order, citing the investigation officer.

Meanwhile, the court extended Shaikh’s remand for two more days.

The case

According to an FIA spokesperson, the Axact CEO had paid a bribe for acquittal in the case registered against him under the fake degree scam in Islamabad’s Cybercrime Circle.

The spokesperson added that the agency had started investigating Shaikh following his arrest. The judge, too, was nominated in the case against Shaikh, the FIA added.

The Axact chief was summoned on February 15, 2023, in connection with the bribe case, however, he did not appear before the probe team.

Memon had acquitted Shaikh, CEO of Axact, the company that made billions of dollars by selling fake degrees worldwide, and others in fake degrees scam on October 31, 2016.

Later, the judge was sacked on February 15, 2018, by the IHC as he confessed before a departmental promotion committee that he had received the bribe for acquitting the accused.

The IHC division bench in April 2018 had set aside the October 31, 2016 acquittal order passed by Memon.

Meanwhile, a case had been filed against the CEO of Axact under the Pakistan Penal Code and the Anti-Bribery Act with the FIA at the request of the IHC registrar.

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