Off-brand products are a surprisingly large and profitable market. All throughout the world, one can find fake Ray-Ban sunglasses, fake Nike shoes, fake Louis Vuitton purses, fake Rolex watches, and fake national embassies. You know, that’s just how it is.
In the African nation of Ghana, a fake U.S. embassy has been closed after a decade of operation. It was run out of an old building in Accra, Ghana’s capitol. The building flew an American flag, had a picture of Obama inside of it, and had billboards and flyers advertising it. People working in the “embassy” spoke English and Dutch and handed out visas and ID papers.
The only problem is that the actual U.S. embassy looks like this:
The Washington Post reports: The battered building with the flag and Obama picture was a fake — ran by Ghanaian and Turkish organized crime rings and a Ghanaian lawyer practicing immigration and criminal law, the State Department said in a statement.
“For about a decade it operated unhindered,” the statement said. “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.”
Officials said they shut down the fraudulent operation during the summer after an informant tipped off the assistant investigator for the Regional Security Office. The investigation in Ghana stemmed from a larger State Department initiative, Operation Spartan Vanguard, which was created by the RSO to “address trafficking and fraud plaguing the U.S. Embassy and the region,” according to the statement.
At the fake embassy, people who didn’t know better (or chose not to) could obtain U.S. visas for around $6,000. The State Department did not say how many people had been able to enter the United States with “fraudulently obtained, legitimate U.S. visas.”
I’m not sure what “fraudulently legitimate” exactly means, but I guess it’s similar to how the NSA gets its information.
The fake embassy operated only three days a week from 7:30 to noon, so it actually worked more than our own government does! In my opinion, we shouldn’t be arresting these mobsters, we should hire them! They clearly know their way around bureaucracy, and understand visas and official paperwork well enough to forge them convincingly. It’s not like they’re “stealing American jobs” either, since they just made their own!