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Photos of stolen vehicles at ‘border post’ between Mozambique and South Africa circulating in 2020 are actually from 2018

Three photos in a December 2020 Facebook post claim to show the “situation [right] now” at the border post between Mozambique and South Africa. 

The first photo shows a large green trailer covered with tarpaulin. In the second photo, the tarpaulin has been pulled away to reveal a silver four-wheel-drive pickup truck or “bakkie”, as the vehicle is commonly called in South Africa. 

Men in the uniform of the South African Police Service can be seen standing around the trailer. 

The third photo shows a truck, loaded with white sacks. A white pickup truck can be seen underneath the sacks. 

The Facebook post implies that the vehicles on the trailer and truck are being smuggled across the border from South Africa to Mozambique. 

Is this accurate? 

‘Stolen car hidden under snacks’ in 2018

A reverse image search reveals that the first two photos first appeared online in August 2018. They show a stolen car that had been hidden under foodstuffs and other goods on a trailer. 

The trailer was travelling along the N1 highway in South Africa’s northern Limpopo province, when it was pulled over by the police. 

A reverse image search for the photo of the white truck did not return any results. But Africa Check could find no credible evidence to suggest that it was recent. 

If the vehicle had been spotted at any of South Africa’s border posts, it would have been widely reported in the media. This is not the case.

If you’re unsure about whether a photo on social media is recent or not, try doing a reverse image search to see when it was first shared online. – Africa Check 


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