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.
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.
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 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.
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.