Back to Africa Check

‘Nigerian boys’ caught with stolen $1.6 million at Gaza-Egypt border? No, photos of cybercrime suspects arrested in India

IN SHORT: The border between Gaza and Egypt has largely been closed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, there’s no news of the incident, and the photos of the supposed suspects actually show men nabbed in India months ago.

“Two Nigerian boys arrested between Gaza and Egypt after they looted money from their palenstinian boss lady in Gaza doing the war and tried to escape,” reads text on a video circulating on social media since late October 2023.

“Nigerians are living in Gaza?” a man in the video says, and laughs. “So these two Nigerian boys were arrested ... while they were trying to cross from Gaza to Egypt with stolen money ... They stole $1.6 million from their Palestinian boss lady in Gaza.”

He goes on to say that “according to reports”, the two Nigerian men were working at a factory in Gaza. When the Israel-Hamas war began, they broke into the factory, stole the money and tried to escape to Egypt.

Israel, a country in the Middle East, declared war on the militant group Hamas on 8 October. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, a narrow territory that lies mainly inside Israel but borders Egypt to the southwest. Its people are mainly Palestinian.

The day before war was declared Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza. 

The video includes five photos: police mugshots of two men, a box of cash, a person waving the flag of Palestine and bombed-out buildings.

But were two men from Nigeria arrested at the border as they tried to cross from Gaza to Egypt with $1.6 million of their boss’s money? And do the mugshots in the video show the two?

NigeriaGaza_False

To Nigerian nationals arrested in India 

The first indication that the claim is false is that the Rafah border crossing, the only way to get from Gaza to Egypt, has largely been closed since the start of the war. It’s only been opened now and then for humanitarian purposes.

So the two men wouldn’t have been able to try to escape from Gaza to Egypt.

Africa Check could find no news reports of Nigerian nationals carrying $1.6 million being arrested at the Gaza-Egypt border.

We took a screenshot of the video, cropped out the mugshots and ran them through a reverse image search.

This led us to a post on the social media platform X by Cyber Crime Rachakonda, a unit of the Rachakonda Police in the municipality of Hayathnagar in Hyderabad, India.

The post is dated 24 August and reads: “#Rachakonda cyber crimes arrested two #Nigerian Nationals for making friends on #SocialMedia platforms and duping victims in the guise of sending #Gift parcels. Cr. No. 87/2023 of #RachakondaPoliceCommissionerate.”

 

 

The post includes the mugshots, as well as a press note on the two’s alleged crimes, with their names. Both are 23-year-old students.

News of their arrest has found its way onto several Nigeria-based websites and blogs.

Two Nigerian nationals weren’t arrested on the Gaza-Egypt border after the start of the Israel-Hamas war. The mugshots are of two Nigerian men nabbed for cybercrime in India, in August.

Republish our content for free

Please complete this form to receive the HTML sharing code.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.