By: Annet Preethi Furtado
October 3 2023
Screenshot of X posts claiming show attack on U.N. vehicle for human trafficking in Senegal. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
This video shows a 2019 incident of a man mistaken for a child trafficker while transporting his employer's children. It is unrelated to the U.N.
What's the claim?
Social media users have shared a video on X that purportedly shows a United Nations (U.N.) vehicle being stopped and attacked by a mob, alleging the van was being used for child abduction, human trafficking, and organ harvesting. These posts claim that this event happened on December 12, 2022, in Senegal. In the video, a group of individuals can be seen forcibly opening the van's door in an attempt to rescue the children.
One X user shared the video with the caption, "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." One such X post had garnered 4.1 million views. The post archives can be found here and here.
Screenshots of the viral X posts. (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
Contrary to the claim, the viral video does not feature a U.N. van or depict child kidnapping. The incident happened in Bulawayo City, Zimbabwe, in April 2019, not Senegal, long before the alleged date of December 12, 2022.
What we found
Analysis of the viral video revealed no discernible "U.N." initials or the official emblem that typically indicates U.N. affiliation. Instead, the vehicle prominently displayed the information "SINCERE SECURITY" at the 0:02 timestamp, positioned prominently at the top of the vehicle, along with "33 AIRDRIE ROAD EASTLEA" and the contact number "04 443326" on the vehicle at the 0:06 timestamp.
Screenshots of the viral posts featuring "SINCERE SECURITY" (Left) and "33 AIRDRIE ROAD EASTLEA" along with the contact number "04 443326" (Right). (Source: X/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)
Upon searching for the information displayed on the car, we found that the address and telephone number correspond to the main office of Sincere Security, a private security company located in Zimbabwe, and the website makes no reference to the company's presence in Senegal. This security company has no affiliation with the U.N.
Screenshot displaying Sincere Security's Zimbabwe address and contact information on their website. (Source: Sincere Security/Screenshot)
A reverse image search of frames from the video showed that the incident occurred in April 2019 rather than December 2022, as claimed in the recent viral posts. The incident occurred in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, not Senegal. Local Zimbabwean news outlets had extensively covered this incident in 2019, clarifying that it involved a false accusation against a man for kidnapping children. In April 2019, Zimbabwean news outlet Zimlive shared a video similar to the current viral video.
Visual comparison of the viral video (Left) and ZimLive's 2019 video on X (Right). (Source: X/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)
Unrelated to kidnapping or human trafficking
In 2019, a man driving his employer's four young children was mistaken for a kidnapper and assaulted. Street vendors stopped him, thinking the children were in distress, leading to the assault and his detention at Bulawayo Central Police Station. However, the parents clarified the situation at the station, and the man received medical treatment. Inspector Precious Simango of Bulawayo police commented, "They shouldn't have beaten him but should have taken him to a police station," as reported by Zim Eye on April 19, 2019.
A 2019 video is circulating with the false claim that a U.N. vehicle allegedly involved in child trafficking and organ harvesting was stopped and attacked by a mob. However, the video actually shows a gathering of people who mistakenly believed they were witnessing a kidnapping. It has no connection to any U.N. activities or operations.