FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show An Alert From The United Nations Warning Of Organ Trafficking In The Middle East?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows an alert from the U.N. about “The black market for parts of the human body” in the Middle East.

Verdict: False

The image does not show a genuine U.N. alert.

Fact Check:

The March 2 Facebook image appears to show an alert about organ trafficking. The U.N. logo appears in the image’s upper-right corner and the bottom of the image includes a link to a page on the U.N. Office of Drug and Crime’s (UNODC) website.

“Beware of fake foreign agencies promising to make you work abroad,” the alleged alert reads, in part. “They process your papers pay your plane ticket and just take you abroad pretending they want to find you a job, but instead, they kill their victims, recover all the precious parts of their bodies.” (RELATED: Is 92 Percent Of The American Rescue Plan Going To ‘Foreign Entities’?)

The image does not, however, show a genuine alert from the UNODC. Check Your Fact searched the UNODC website, but found no similar messages. Nor does the alert appear in any of the office’s social media posts. An internet search by Check Your Fact likewise found no media reports of the U.N. issuing the statement in question.

“The message you refer to does not originate from UNODC and contains out-of-date information that is not related to current UNODC activities,” UNODC Advocacy Section Chief Brian Hansford told Check Your Fact via email.

The link included at the bottom of the image currently leads to an error page. The page previously contained general information about organ trafficking and the UNODC’s response to the issue, an archived screen grab of the page from December shows.

The claim appears to have been circulating since at least April 2019, when Nigerian media outlet The Cable published an article crediting the statement to Ikechukwu Attah, a national protocol officer for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a U.N. organization. Attah denied making the statement and said reports of the IOM warning people to watch out for fraudulent travel agencies were “fake news,” according to BBC News Pidgin.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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