For over a decade, criminal operatives have been running a fake embassy in Ghana, issuing at least 150 passports from 10 countries.
The State Department has confirmed that a joint task force uncovered a shady operation, offering bogus passports and visas to customers willing to pay.
According to Fox News, “the elaborate scheme was run by Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings and a Ghanaian attorney who practices immigration and criminal law.”
Services, such as fake birth certificates, bank records and ‘fraudulently obtained legitimate U.S. visas’, were offered for purchase through the phony embassy. Some services costing customers as much as $6,000.
According to the State Department, during a raid conducted by the investigating task force, several suspects were arrested as well as a variety of evidence collected such as a ‘laptop computer; smart phones; 150 passports from 10 countries; legitimate and counterfeit visas from the U.S., the Schengen zone, India, and South Africa; and counterfeit identity documents.’
The criminal operatives set up satellite locations for their sham business, one being at an apartment building and also at a dress shop where the sewing machine aided in replicating passport books.
While the fraudulent services were advertised by flyers and on billboards, the operations remained viable, as the criminals were able to pay off top level government officials.
Officials have declined to advise how many fake passports and visas have been distributed at this time.
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