A building that operated as a US embassy in Ghana for more than ten years was fake and has been recently shut down, US State Department said in a statement.
The enterprise, which issued fraudulently obtained legitimate visas, counterfeit visas, and other false identification documents, was overseen by figures from Ghanaian and Turkish crime rings working in cooperation with corrupt Ghanaian officials, the statement added. It used to operate three days a week in Accra, the capital.
The State Department did not say how many people may have entered the United States illegally using documentation issued by the crime ring, nor did it say how the ring may have obtained official documents.
According to the State Department, the building- with the corrugated tin roof – flew the American flag, hung a photo of US President Barack Obama, and used to advertise its services through fliers and billboards to cultivate customers from Ghana and neighboring countries.
Authorities shut down the operation after receiving a tip last summer and conducting a joint investigation by diplomatic security agents at the real US embassy in Ghana, Ghanian authorities and other international partners.
The operation also uncovered a fake Dutch embassy in Accra, the State Department said.