Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
BRITONS BOUGHT THOUSANDS OF BOGUS DEGREES FROM PAK FIRM
ISLAMABAD: Axact, a Karachibased software firm accused of amassing millions of dollars through an internet degree scam, allegedly duped thousands of British nationals who bought fake degrees from its diploma mill in Pakistan, BBC reported on Tuesday.
Buyers included NHS consultants, nurses and a large defence contractor, and one British buyer spent almost £500,000 on bogus documents, an investigation by BBC Radio 4 has revealed.
The UK education department said it is taking “decisive action to crack down on degree fraud” that “cheats genuine learners”.
The degree scam was first exposed in 2015 by The New York Times, which reported that hundreds of fake universities and schools run by the company had raked in millions of dollars by selling fake documents to people around the world, including Indians based in the Middle East.
The expose was followed by a crackdown by Pakistani authorities but no one has been prosecuted as yet within the country. A Pakistani man arrested in the US pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to commit wire fraud and was sent to prison for 21 months.
Documents seen by BBC showed more than 3,000 fake Axact qualifications were sold to UK-based buyers in 2013 and 2014, including master’s degrees, doctorates and PhDs. NHS clinical staff, including an ophthalmologist, nurses, a psychologist, and numerous consultants bought fake degrees.