FACT CHECK: Video Does Not Show Mob Attacking United Nations Vehicle Suspected Of Human Trafficking

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, purports to show a United Nations (UN) van being attacked by a mob in Senegal who supposedly discovered the van was engaging in human trafficking.

Verdict: Misleading

The video shows a van belonging to Sincere Security Company, not the UN. The unnamed driver was transporting his employer’s children and was falsely accused of human trafficking, according to ZimLive.com. A spokesperson for the UN refuted the claim in an email to Check Your Fact.

Fact Check:

World leaders gathered at this year’s UN General Assembly to discuss various geopolitical issues, according to The Associated Press. This year marked the 78th session and featured 193 member states, the outlet reported.

“On December 12, 2022 In Senegal, West Africa, a mob attacked a United Nations, vehicle in early and discovered it carried kidnapped children for human trafficking and organ harvesting purposes before they freed them,” the X post, viewed over four million times, purports.

The video shows a large crowd attempting to open the door of the van. In another shot of the video, children can be seen inside the van. Eventually, the crowd is able to open the van and free the children.

The van does not belong to the UN, however. The van is clearly identified as belonging to Sincere Security Company at the 0:02-mark of the over two-minute video. A keyword search generates the company’s website, which indicates it was established in 2006 and is a “wholly Zimbabwean owned entity.”

Likewise, an April 2019 article published on ZimLive.com reveals the unnamed driver of the vehicle was transporting his employer’s children and was falsely accused of human trafficking. The man was beaten as a result of the incident and was taken to the local police station, the outlet indicated. The incident occurred in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, according to the article.

A similar article detailing the incident also appeared on ZimEye.net at the time. In addition, the claim that the van belonged to the UN does not appear on the intergovernmental organization’s website or verified social media accounts. (RELATED: Video Showing Migrants On Polish-Belarusian Border Is Old)

A UN spokesperson refuted the claim in an email statement to Check Your Fact.

“We were made aware of this video in December 2022 and our team in Senegal confirmed then this was not a UN vehicle. Furthermore, the language spoken in the video doesn’t appear to be a Senegalese language, or at the very least, what’s certain is that it’s not Wolof, which is spoken by over 95% of the Senegalese population,” the spokesperson said.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter