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Fake US embassy finally shut down

WASHINGTON: The U.S. State Department says it has shut down a fake embassy in Ghana’s capital that operated for “about a decade” issuing counterfeit and fraudulently obtained visas to West Africans.

A statement says authorities recovered 150 passports from 10 countries and visas from the U.S., India, South Africa and the European Schengen zone. The statement says the scheme was orchestrated by “Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings” as well as a Ghanaian attorney.

Several suspects have been arrested, though others remain at large.

 It is not clear how many people were defrauded by the fake embassy, which charged $6,000 for its services. The operation relied on fliers and billboards to lure victims from Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo.

It is not clear whether people successfully traveled on the visas.