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HOAX-ALERT: Pic of elephant 'stealing' US$400k from Nigerian bank photoshopped

This article is more than 6 years old

News of animals purportedly stealing money in Nigeria have been making news waves in the past month.

First, a snake supposedly swallowed N36 million (US$118,000) saved in the vault of the Joint Admission Matriculation Board office in Makurdi, Benue state, in early February.

Then a popular federal lawmaker, Shehu Sani, claimed that monkeys carted away N70 million (US$230,000) belonging to a forum of lawmakers representing northern Nigeria at the senate.

Some days ago, another story surfaced claiming that an elephant had attacked a bank near Nigeria’s border with Benin and made away with N125 million (US$400,000). The story was supported with two photographs of an elephant inside the bank’s premises.  

The elephant in the bank

“Not only did this mysterious elephant made away with such amounts of money but also destroyed the bank premises and building beyond measures and also injured one of the staff who tried to stop its actions beyond circumstances [sic],” claimed a message Africa Check saw on closed messaging application WhatsApp.

Incidentally, First Bank of Nigeria, which the elephant purportedly stole from, has an elephant in its mascot. For days, the bank had to reassure its customers on Twitter that their money was safe.

Doing a reverse image search using TinEye, Africa Check determined that an elephant was added to pictures of incidents that happened back in 2015.

The first photo was used with a report of a robbery at a bank in Agbara, Ogun state, in November 2015, while the second accompanied a story of another robbery in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo state, in January 2015.

In neither case did a seven-tonne trunk-wielding mammal feature in the heists.- Allwell Okpi (02/03/2018)

[gallery columns="2" link="file" size="medium" ids="16075,16087,16077,16085"]


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