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By Alastair Jamieson

A fake U.S. embassy in Ghana issued illegally obtained visas for a decade before it was shut down by authorities, the State Department said.

An international crime gang ran the sham facility, in the African nation’s capital, Accra — and even flew an American flag outside the building.

The State Department said a fake embassy was run from this building in Accra, Ghana, for 10 years.State Department

However, the genuine Embassy is in a large, secure facility elsewhere in the city.

The fake embassy was shut down this summer after a joint operation by State Department officials and local police, the department said in an update published Friday.

“For about a decade it operated 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,” said a page on the Department of State's website.