Authorities in Ghana have busted a fake US embassy in the capital, Accra, run by a criminal network that for a decade issued illegally obtained authentic visas, the US State Department has said. Until it was shut down this summer, the sham embassy was housed in a run-down, pink two-storey building with a corrugated iron roof and flew a US flag outside. Inside hung a portrait of President Barack Obama.
“It was not operated by the United States government, but by figures from both Ghanaian and Turkish organised crime rings and a Ghanaian attorney practicing immigration and criminal law,” the State Department said in a statement released late on Friday.
Turkish citizens, who spoke English and Dutch, posed as consular officers and staffed the operation. Investigations also uncovered a fake Dutch embassy, the State Department said. Officials in the Netherlands were not immediately reachable for comment on Sunday.
This obviously stretches back into the Bush administration. What the hell is wrong with the State Department? It’s high time rogue Foggy Bottom was brought to heel, and it’s to be hoped that whomever Trump picks to head it up will make cleaning it out his or her first order of business. It’s the swamp that incubated the monstrous Hillary Clinton and her pay-to-play racket that operated brazenly right under the noses of everybody in Washington, including the crack White House press corps. It’s long been immune to White House policy. And it’s the most spy-ridden and corrupt cabinet-level institution in our government. Talk about needing repeal and replace!
The crime ring issued fraudulently obtained but legitimate US visas and false identification documents, including birth certificates at a cost of $6,000 each, the statement said. During raids that led to a number of arrests, authorities also seized authentic and counterfeit Indian, South African and Schengen Zone visas and 150 passports from 10 different countries along with a laptop and smart phones.
The statement did not say how the gang obtained the authentic visas. And the State Department did not say how many people were believed to have illegally entered the United States and other countries using visas issued by the crime ring, which used bribery to operate unhindered.
“The criminals running the operation were able to pay off corrupt officials to look the other way, as well as obtain legitimate blank documents to be doctored,” the statement said.
What a disgrace.