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The Government of Ghana has been cautioned to be careful with its dealings with a New York-based technology company, Aventura Technologies which is selling Chinese-made surveillance equipment with 'Made in the USA' labels to countries and large installations.

The caution to the Ghanaian government came at the heels of information that was released by prosecutors in a criminal complaint in federal court.

It has emerged that Aventura Technologies company which also operates in Ghana has been selling Chinese-made surveillance equipment to the US government while falsely claiming the products were made in the United States, a scheme that directly undermined national security.

Aventura Technologies is based in the Long Island town of Commack, for years sold surveillance cameras and other equipment used on US military installations.

Its clients included private sector companies. The caution from the US Government to countries and private organizations is said to have alerted National Security to commence an investigation into their operations in Ghana.

There are snippets of information however that, the Bank of Ghana (BoG), a sensitive national facility, is also a client to the said company.

Information available to the New Crusading Guide is that Aventura Technologies has been supplying security and surveillance equipment to the Bank of Ghana over the years hence the state facility could be in danger of security breach.

The company is also said to be operating in the energy, oil and gas sectors of Ghana which is of serious concern to National Security apparatus hence the need for investigations into their operations in Ghana.

Aventura according to prosecutors imported millions of dollars’ worth of equipment from China that was labeled and "passed off as American made."

The scheme “created a channel in which foreign adversaries could potentially access our government’s most sensitive facilities and computer networks” with technology that had “known cybersecurity vulnerabilities.” The company went to “extraordinary lengths to perpetrate fraud,” removing identifiers in software code, modifying markings on circuit boards and even having the items imported with fake “made in the USA” labels.”

Aventura claimed it made the equipment. It adds the company was paid $88 million since November 2010.

However, because of misrepresentations made to the US government, Aventura was paid tens of millions of dollars for Chinese manufactured surveillance systems that ended up on Army and Air Force bases, in Department of Energy facilities, on Navy installations and even on US aircraft carriers.

It also emerged that the operations of the said company have resulted in a serious cyber security risk since the software deployed into US systems was known to have vulnerabilities and could potentially allow hackers to access these networks and obtain sensitive data.

One of the schemes of the company to be able to access contracts from governments is to portray itself to governments as a female-owned small business in order to obtain contracts set aside for such businesses.

Aventura was also involved in a money-laundering scheme, according to court documents. The government's investigation revealed the Cabassos transferred money to shell companies, which in turn made numerous payments to benefit themselves and their relatives.

The US government has, therefore, warned governments including Ghana to disengage with services of the company and to take the necessary steps in addressing the potential security vulnerabilities that Aventura Technologies may have created through their software and security equipment.

CNN and other media outlets have attempted to reach out to Aventura and the arrested employees for statements. Some of them have declined to comment while others didn't immediately respond.

Source: The New Crusading Guide/Ghana

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