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Photo from drug bust in Mexico, not cash found in home of ex-governor of Nigeria's Abia state

IN SHORT: A photo making the rounds online shows a pile of cash from a Mexican drug bust, not money found in the house of a former Nigerian state governor.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Discovered 800 Million Dollars Cash Stack at The Home Of Former Abia State Governor; Okezie Ikpeazu,” reads a post on Facebook.

The post features a photo of a big pile of cash.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is responsible for fighting economic and financial crimes in Nigeria.

Okezie Ikpeazu is the former governor of the south-eastern state of Abia, with a population of four million. He served from 2015 to 2023. 

We found similar claims on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

But is the claim true? We checked. 


Photo from drug raid in Mexico

A Google reverse image search of the photo led us to a report on the website of the Financial Transparency Coalition, where the photo was credited to Tim Bonnemann on Flickr

Bonnemann had posted the photo on Flickr, an online photo and video sharing platform, on 7 March 2010 and called it “mafia money”.

Further digging led us to a June 2007 Snopes fact check. It said the photo was taken during a successful drug raid carried out by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Mexican police in Mexico City.

It also said the photo had been released by Mexico's Procuraduría General de la República (attorney general's Office). The raid, described by the DEA as “the largest drug cash seizure in history”, netted US$205.6 million in cash, vehicles and weapons.

A search of the EFCC’s website and official handle on X (formerly Twitter)  returned no evidence of cash being found in Ikpeazu’s home.

Given Ikpeazu's status as a politician and former governor, the news of such a discovery in his house would have been widely reported in the media.

The photo has been online since at least 2007 and does not show piles of cash found in the home of Nigeria's former state governor.

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