A video of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid in Kolkata, West Bengal at a businessman's house is viral with a false claim that it shows cash recovered after a raid at the house of an Aam Aadmi Party leader in Surat, Gujarat.
We found that the viral video is from September 10, 2022, and is reported to be shot during an ED raid at a Kolkata-based businessman Aamir Khan's premises. BOOM spoke to Mahendra Navadia, the district president of the Aam Aadmi Party's Surat unit in Gujarat who denied the claim stating that there is no AAP leader named 'Shekhar Agarwal' in the local party unit.
Following, AAP's victory in Punjab earlier this year, senior AAP leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have been visiting the state. The party has also declared that the party would be contesting the state assembly election which is likely to be held in December 2022
In the 35 seconds video, heaps of cash can be seen lying around with officials counting it and using five counting machines.
The video is being shared with captioned on Facebook which reads, "Raid on the house of Shekhar Agarwal, AAP leader of Surat, Gujarat. See how AAP is getting prepared for oncoming Guj election."
Watch the video here.
The video same video is also being shared with the false claim with a Hindi caption.
BOOM found that the viral video is from Kolkata, West Bengal from an ED raid at a businessman's premises on September 10, 2022. The video is not from Surat, Gujarat showing an AAP Gujarat leader's house as being claimed.
On viewing the video, we found a plastic bag with Bangla text on it at the 30 seconds time stamp. We also could hear people talking in Bangla which indicates the viral video is from West Bengal.
Taking this hint, we then ran a reverse image search on Google with keyframes of the viral video which search results led us to a video report by India Today dated September 11, 2022, posted on Facebook.
The caption of the video read, "ED Radar on mobile gaming app scam! Over Rs 17 cr cash siezed and counting. Rittick Mondal gets us all the details from Kolkata"
The visuals in this video report match the viral video and the same counting machines can be seen.
The same video was also reported by NDTV India. The anti-money laundering agency raided six locations in Kolkata including one in Garden Reach area, where the ED brought in cash-counting machines to count the amount recovered reported NDTV on September 11, 2022.
The ED had conducted this raid on the premises belonging to a businessman named Aamir Khan, in a case relating to mobile gaming app called 'E-Nuggets' which was allegedly used to defraud people.
The gaming app called "E-Nuggets" was promoted by Aamir Khan and search operation carried out by the ED allegedly led to the recovery of ₹17 crores and 32 lakhs according to NDTV. The ED began its probe on the basis of an FIR filled by the Kolkata Police against the company and its promoters in February 2021.
"No AAP leader named Shekhar Agarwal in AAP Surat": AAP Surat district President
BOOM then reached out to Mahendra Navadia, the district president of the Aam Aadmi Party's Surat unit in Gujarat. He denied the viral claim that an AAP leader had been raided in Surat claiming that there is no leader named 'Shekhar Agarwal' in AAP Surat.
"There is no such leader named Shekhar Agarwal in AAP," Navadia told BOOM.
Additionally, we did not find any local Gujarati news reports on a raid by the ED at an AAP leader's house in Surat, Gujarat.
Navadia claimed to BOOM that the Gujarat police raided the party's office in Ahmedabad recently but no raid happened to any AAP leader's house. Ahmedabad police has however denied this claim in a statement.
We also found a Tweet from official account of ED about the raid conducted in Kolkata. However, we did not find any news report or tweet confirmed by ED or Central Bureau of Investigation that regarding cash recovered from AAP leader's house in Surat, Gujarat.
BOOM reached out to two senior ED officials via mail, the copy will be updated upon receiving their response.
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