In Ghana: The 2016 story of a fake US embassy is not true

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The pink house which was said to be a fake US embassy

The viral story of a fake US Embassy in Accra, Ghana was nothing more than someone's colourful imagination.

In December 2016, Pulse published a story about a fake US embassy in Accra, Ghana.

The story was first published by Ghana Business News. The story was a viral hit later picked up by international news outlets like Reuters, The Sun, Fox News, and Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The most astonishing thing about this story is that it is FAKE or as Donald Trump would call it “fake news.” Yes, the fake US embassy in Accra never existed.

 

Yepoka Yeebo was interested in the story back in December 2016 when he read it. His investigations, however, made him realize that the story was a huge hoax.

Yeebo has written a long-read article about in The Guardian. A day after the story of the fake embassy, the head of Ghana’s visa and document fraud unit Seth Sewornu got a text from his boss who wanted to know about his raid on the fake embassy. The only problem was that he didn’t know about any bust. He asked his men and they too knew nothing about it.

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In the story of the fake US embassy, the Ghana Detectives Bureau was said to have made the raid, the only problem was that the GDB does not exist. Ghanaian authorities were baffled.

At the heart of the viral story was a pink house which was said to be the fake US embassy. Yeebo’s investigation reveals that the photo of that house was taken by Detective Lloyd Baidoo.

In mid-2016 he had gotten a tip that there was a US visa smuggling ring that was issuing fake visas to people from a pink house in Accra.

 

Baidoo and another detective went to the location, took pictures and did a surveillance of the place. At the end of the day, the pink building didn’t strike Baidoo as a place that issued fake visas.

One of the owners of the building’s owners is Susana Lamptey. She maintains that the building was never a spot where people could buy fake visas. Since the story broke out she has been hounded by international journalists.

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The rabbit hole goes deeper. In December 2016, the US state department put out the story of a fake US embassy in Accra. In the department’s story, the photo of the pink building taken by Baidoo was used as well as the photo of passports taken by the detective during a different raid of a location which turned out to be a hideout of a visa ring.

 

According to Seth Sewornu, he claims a source at the real US embassy said someone at the US State Department had merged Baidoo’s investigation of the pink house and his raid of a location where fake visas were sold.

At the end of the day, one of the biggest stories of 2016 was the sloppy work of an American.



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