On March 10, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided a premises linked to former Bihar chief minister and RJD leader Lalu Yadav. The agency claimed that it seized evidence revealing “proceeds of crime” worth Rs 600 crore. Following this, a few pictures went viral on social media as the money and jewellery recovered during the raid at Lalu Yadav’s properties. Twitter handle ‘@ChawatGautam’ tweeted these images with a similar claim.
A number of users shared the images individually or as a collage on Twitter.
The images were also circulated widely on Facebook with the same claim.
Upon investigation, we discovered that the images were related to different incidents.
Coming to the Enforcement Directorate’s raid at Lalu Yadav’s premises, we found a tweet dated March 11 by news agency ANI containing some images from the viral posts. At the same time, out of the four pictures mentioned further on in this article, the second picture is also included in this tweet. According to the post, the Enforcement Directorate raided 24 locations in connection with the land-for-railway job scam. In this raid, they recovered Rs. 1 crore cash, foreign currency worth US $1900, 540 grams of gold and 1.5 kg of gold ornaments.
ED conducted searches at 24 locations in the Railways Land for Job Scam, resulting in the recovery of unaccounted cash of Rs 1 Crore, foreign currency including US$ 1900, 540 gms gold bullion and more than 1.5 kg of gold jewellery: ED pic.twitter.com/fkPLmUpgPA
— ANI (@ANI) March 11, 2023
Alt News also found a tweet posted by the Enforcement Directorate containing the same information. It also states that investigation unearthed information about a transaction worth Rs. 600 crore. However, the agency did not share any pictures from the raid. (Press release issued by ED on March 11)
Searches resulted in detection of Proceeds of Crime amounting to Rs 600 Crore approximately at this point of time .
— ED (@dir_ed) March 11, 2023
However, out of the pictures being shared as the raid on Lalu Yadav’s hideouts, three are from old and unrelated incidents.
We performed a reverse image search of this picture on Google, which led us to a report by The Tribune dated September 11, 2022. The article mentions that the ED recovered Rs. 17 crore cash in raids from the promoters of a gaming app company in Kolkata, where this picture was taken. It also states that the agency was probing the political links of the operators of the app as per the outlet’s sources. The agency recovered Rs. 500 notes as well as notes in denominations of 2000, 200 and 100.
Third and fourth images
We performed a reverse image of both pictures. Alt News found that the two images were actually articles seized by the ED during raids at 15 different locations in Mumbai and Nagpur. In fact, on March 8, The Indian Express carried one of the viral photographs while reporting that the ED had raided 15 locations in Mumbai and Nagpur in connection with an investor fraud probe. The agency seized gold and diamond jewellery worth Rs 5.51 crore along with Rs 1.21 crore in cash.
At the same time, the Enforcement Directorate itself had tweeted both the viral pictures of the jewellery while reporting on this raid.
ED has conducted searches and survey at 15 locations in Nagpur & Mumbai in relation to the investment fraud by Pankaj Mehadia, Lokesh & Kathik Jain. Unaccounted jewellery worth Rs 5.51 Crore and cash of 1.21 Crore has been seized. Further investigation is going on. pic.twitter.com/HS4AUaMh1t
— ED (@dir_ed) March 6, 2023
To sum it up, pictures from old and unrelated raids were shared on social media as raids at Lalu Yadav’s house. Alt News does not confirm the authenticity of the images tweeted by ANI, as the Enforcement Directorate itself did not share any image of the raid as of March 16, 2023, when this article was originally published.
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