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.

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The images were also circulated widely on Facebook with the same claim.

Fact Check

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.

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)

Apart from this, a number of media outlets carried some of these pictures in their coverage of the items recovered during the raid at Lalu Yadav’s premises. (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3)

However, out of the pictures being shared as the raid on Lalu Yadav’s hideouts, three are from old and unrelated incidents.

First image

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

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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.

Hindustan Times featured the second image from the viral photos in its coverage of the raid.

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At the same time, the Enforcement Directorate itself had tweeted both the viral pictures of the jewellery while reporting on this raid.

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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About the Author

Kinjal Parmar holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. However, her keen interest in journalism, drove her to pursue journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. At Alt News since 2019, she focuses on authentication of information which includes visual verification, media misreports, examining mis/disinformation across social media. She is the lead video producer at Alt News and manages social media accounts for the organization.