Fraud Alert Fake US Embassy in Ghana shut down after a decade of issuing forged visas

The US State Department said in statement revealed that the fake embassy was run by figures from both Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings and a Ghanaian attorney practicing immigration and criminal law.

  • Published:
play The exterior of the fake embassy in Accra, Ghana. (U.S. Department of State photo)
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A fake US Embassy in Ghana which has been issuing out counterfeit visas for decade has been shut down.

The US State Department in a statement revealed that the fake embassy was run by figures from both Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings and a Ghanaian attorney practicing immigration and criminal law.

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play Exterior of the legitimate U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana (U.S. Department of State photo)

 

The sham embassy flew an American flag outside the building three days a week and hung a photo of President Barack Obama in side the building, and signs indicated that you were in the U.S. Embassy in Ghana.

The fake embassy has operated for decade unhindered in Accra where the US Embassy is also located.

US State Department said  the criminals running the operation were able to pay off corrupt officials to look the other way, as well as obtain legitimate blank documents to be doctored.

The US Embassy shut down sham embassy in cooperation with the Ghana Police Force, Ghana Detectives Bureau, and other international partners.

play The exterior of the fake embassy in Accra, Ghana. (U.S. Department of State photo)

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The sham embassy advertised their services through flyers and billboards to cultivate customers from Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, and Togo.

Some of the services the embassy provided for these customers included issuance of fraudulently obtained, legitimate U.S. visas, counterfeit visas, false identification documents (including bank records, education records, birth certificates, and others) for a cost of $6,000, the US State Department said.

play Left: Some of the 150 seized passports collected during the raids. Right: Some of the banking, education, and other identification paperwork seized during the raids. (U.S. Department of State photos)

 

In addition to visas, fake bank records, education records and birth certificates were also issued by the "consular officers," who were English- and Dutch-speaking Turkish citizens.

About 150 passports from 10 countries, legitimate and counterfeit visas from the US, the Schengen zone, India, and South Africa, and counterfeit IDs were seized, along with a laptop and smartphones.

Authorities are still searching for several suspects and an investigation into the Turkish organized ring is ongoing. Interpol and the Bureau of Consular Affairs have been contacted with the relevant details by Ghanaian officials.

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