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The exterior of the fake embassy in Accra, Ghana. (U.S. Department of State photo)

A fake US embassy in Ghana was finally shut down after a decade


For a decade an American flag flew outside a building in Accra, Ghana, every Monday, Tuesday and Friday. 

Inside that same building, hung a photo of President Barack Obama and a sign that made people think they were inside the U.S. embassy in Ghana. 

However, all that was a facade. 

The establishment, which issued fraudulently obtained U.S. visas, counterfeit visas and false identification documents, wasn't run by the United States government at all.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that operations were overseen by Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings, as well as a Ghanaian attorney practicing immigration and criminal law.

The fake embassy continued its operations by paying off corrupt officials who agreed to look the other way. 

During a raid, officials said 150 passports from 10 countries were found in the so-called embassy, according to the State Department. 

Here's a look at some of the 150 passports and other paperwork seized during the raids. (U.S. Department of State photos)

Here's a look at some of the 150 passports and other paperwork seized during the raids.

Authorities reportedly shut down the embassy after receiving a tip last summer. 

Now, the real U.S. embassy in Ghana is conducting an investigation in cooperation with the Ghana Police Force and Ghana Detectives Bureau. 

The investigation also uncovered a fake Netherlands embassy operating in the same city. 

The State Department noted that those running the fake U.S. embassy advertised their services to customers in Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Togo using flyers and billboards. 

At this point, it is unclear how many people, if any, have used the illegal documents to gain entry into the United States, according to the State Department. 

Several suspects in the case are still at large. 

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