A two-minute clip that seemingly portrays cash stacked up on a barricaded road is viral. The text associated with the video claims, “This is not a Building, these are the 4 Billion Dollars that the Brazilian Government has recovered from its corrupt politicians and public servants, the money is displayed in public place for public viewing. One day we HOPE our Government of India displays such Loot.” Several Twitter and Facebook users have shared the video.

Twitter user @mini_razdan10 posted the video gaining over 17,000 views.

This video was also posted by South Indian YouTube channel IBTV9.

Film promotion

At the 1:00 mark in the video, the camera focuses on a notice board which carries text in a foreign language.

Alt News extracted the text using Google drive and found that its Portuguese.

Using this a clue we performed a keyword search in Portuguese ‘4 bilhões em dinheiro em público’ on Google and found multiple media reports that include images of the stack of cash identical in the viral video.

Brazillian newspaper Gazeta do Povo published a report in 2017 on this incident. As per the report, counterfeit currency, stack vertically up to 5 m high, was put on display in the locality Boca Maldita the Brazillian city of Curitiba as a part of film promotion of ‘Policia Federal: Lei é Para Todos’ (Federal Police: No One is Above the Law). As per the website IMDb, the film is based on the true story of Operation Car Wash, a corruption scandal in Brazil.

As per reports by BBC and The Guardian, Operation Car Wash is an ongoing criminal investigation by the Federal Police of Brazil, Curitiba Branch. The investigations, that started in 2014, alleged that executives at Brazillian state oil company Petrobras accepted bribes from construction firms in return for awarding them contracts at inflated prices. Dozens of politicians including former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were accused.

A Brazilian blog also uploaded multiple images from this spectacle in 2017. An image in the article shows the exact notice board we mentioned at the beginning of the fact check.

Alt News found a promotional video for the film uploaded on a YouTube channel in 2017.

Thus the social media claim that the viral video shows that the Brazilian government has put up billions of dollars recovered from corrupt politicians and public servants for public display is false. The video shows a film promotion for ‘Policia Federal: Lei é Para Todos’ based on the events of Operation Car Wash.

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About the Author

Archit is a fact-checking journalist at Alt News since November 2019. Previously, he has worked as a producer at a TV news channel and as a reporter at a leading English-language daily. In addition to work experience in media, he has also worked as a fundraising and communication manager at an NGO.