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No evidence woman in disturbing video is bank employee who colluded with robbers

IN SHORT: Several Facebook posts share a disturbing video of a woman being beaten by a crowd, with the claim it shows a bank employee who was accused of colluding with robbers to steal from customers. But we found that the video has been on the internet since at least 2018 with different explanations of what it shows.

Warning: Please note this fact-check links to a disturbing video showing a violent attack and nudity.

A Facebook post claims a woman who works in a bank was beaten for plotting with armed robbers to steal from bank customers.

The 3 October 2023 post reads, in part: “Report has it that any time a customer comes to withdraw a huge sum of money, she will alert robbers, The robbers were caught and during the interrogation they exposed her as their main informant in the bank.”

A screenshot from what looks like a video shows a woman being attacked by a mob. The Facebook user says in the post he can’t post the video because of “Facebook policy”.

Mob attacks or public lynchings, also known as “jungle justice”, are common in Nigeria.

Posts with similar claims and video showing the alleged incident can be found here, here and here on Facebook and on X, previously known as Twitter, here.

None of the posts give details of where and when this attack is meant to have happened, but the claim has been shared widely in Nigeria and Ghana. 

But was the woman in the video colluding with armed robbers? We checked. 


Video analysis

Africa Check didn’t find similar images when we analysed the video by keyframes. 

We then searched for the keywords “woman beaten by mob” in Google and found several reports. We narrowed this search to African countries, and found a very similar image to the screenshot, published in 2019 with the claim it shows a woman stripped naked by South African “thugs” for dating “Nigerians and other foreigners”.

We also found a Facebook post from 2020 with the same video and a caption written in Kiswahili, suggesting it was posted by someone in one of the East African countries where the language is widely spoken.

We found the video posted on a Nigerian blog as far back as 2018, shared without any details except that “the cause of the event will soon be disclose”. Another post found on a Nigerian forum sharing the video claimed that the woman was suspected of kidnapping babies.

In other words, we did not find the origin of the video, but different explanations for the events depicted in the video have been published online since 2018. There is no evidence this video or images taken from it show a bank employee who colluded with bank robbers.

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