Foreign, Ghana security authorities shut down fake US Embassy in Accra

The building housing the fake US Embassy - Photo: Courtesy of the US Department of State
The building housing the fake US Embassy – Photo: Courtesy of the US Department of State

A fake US Embassy which has been operating in Ghana for about 10 years has finally been discovered and shut down.

It is not clear exactly when that happened, but a joint task force of both Ghanaian and foreign security operatives shut down the fake Embassy operating somewhere in the capital, Accra, according to information published November 2, 2016 on the website of the US Department of State.

Members of an organized crime gang made up of Turkish and Ghanaian citizens operated the fake Embassy in Accra where they flew the American flag on the building every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 7:30am to 12 noon and issued fraudulently obtained, legitimate US visas, counterfeit visas, false identification documents (including bank records, education records, birth certificates, and others) for a cost of $6,000.

According to the Department of State, the suspects hanged a photo of President Barack Obama on the wall of the room and targeted mainly citizens of Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-5-43-24-pm FakeEmbassy_docsThe scam was discovered following investigations, which is a small part of a broader “Operation Spartan Vanguard” initiative.

“Operation Spartan Vanguard” was developed by Diplomatic Security agents in the Regional Security Office (RSO) at the US Embassy in Ghana in order to address trafficking and fraud plaguing the Embassy and the region.

The information indicated that during the course of another fraud investigation in “Operation Spartan Vanguard” an informant tipped off the ARSO-I about the fake US Embassy, as well as a fake Netherlands Embassy operating in Accra.

“After receiving the tip, the ARSO-I, who is the point person in the RSO shop for “Operation Spartan Vanguard” investigations, verified the information with partners within the Ghanaian Police Force. The ARSO-I then created an international task force composed of the aforementioned Ghana Police Force, as well as the Ghana Detective Bureau, Ghana SWAT, and officials from the Canadian Embassy to investigate further,” it said.

The investigators also identified the main architects of the operation, and two satellite locations (a dress shop and an apartment building) used for operations.

It noted further that the scam operation didn’t accept walk-in services, but instead they went to the remote parts of West Africa to find customers that they brought to Accra and put in a nearby hotel.

During the raid, several suspects were arrested and evidence collected included a laptop computer; smartphones; 150 passports from 10 countries; legitimate and counterfeit visas from the US, the Schengen zone, India, and South Africa; and counterfeit identity documents.

While the information did not identify any of the suspects by name, it indicated that a Ghanaian immigration lawyer working with corrupt Ghana law enforcement officers were part of the scam.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

  1. Daniel says

    That doesnt sound like a scam fake embassy, but rather like a normal and obviously real value to the customers visa agency.

    Helping people getting legitimate and… legitime but with fake documents or bribes obtained visas is what visa agencies everywhere do. Popularly advrtised in travelguides, the internet etc.

    So the news just doesnt make sense.

  2. flo says

    Operation Spartan Vanguard… americans are so pathetic.

  3. AO1JMM says

    @flo, And where are you from and why would Americans be “pathetic” is this article has nothing to do with a REAL American embassy but instead a bunch of con men faking one and ripping off locals?

    I will continue to wait for your answer.

  4. Speedle says

    Aqumm, I wouldn’t wait too long. Flo is probably a victim of Obama’s apology tour blaming everything from Aids to bad breath on Americans.

  5. West27 says

    He clearly means it’s a ridiculous name, and the fact you two haven’t seen that makes his point all the better. I will assume you are both American ;P

  6. Mathew says

    Dryly hilarious story. I see a wonderful movie in this. Ghanaian filmmakers, please do it before Hollywood does.

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