The Washington Post reports Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings ran a fake U.S. embassy in Accra, Ghana that issued an unknown number of U.S. visas before it was shut down. The criminals somehow obtained and issued real visa documents to people from at least ten different countries.

The fake embassy, which operated for a decade, flew an American flag and catered to non-local customers who would not know the location of the real embassy in Accra. “Consular officers” advertised to people in West Africa and neighboring countries, sometimes with billboards. The operation sold visas for $6,000 and bribed local officials to look the other way.

U.S. authorities were tipped off about the operation last summer and worked with Ghanaian police to shut down the scam. Officials collected evidence at the fake embassy and two satellite locations that included counterfeit Ghanaian identity documents, 150 passports from 10 countries, and real and counterfeit visas from the United States, parts of Europe, India and South Africa.

The State Department said Monday that no one is known to have entered the United States with illegally-issued documents. Officials have not revealed how the criminals obtained real visa documents.

Read more in the Washington Post.

immigration fraud
National Security

Updated: Tue, Dec 20th 2016 @ 9:40am EST