Old photo of sex doll on Thailand beach shared as dead tourist in Maldives

By: Soham Shah
January 12 2024

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Old photo of sex doll on Thailand beach shared as dead tourist in Maldives

Screenshot of a post claiming to show a photo of a mutilated body on a beach in the Maldives. (Source:X)


The Verdict False

This photo is from Thailand and has no connection with the Maldives. It shows a sex doll that washed up on a beach and not a dead tourist.

Claim ID 5bdb83f5

(Trigger Warning: This story contains mentions of rape and murder that could be distressing to some readers. Discretion is advised.)

What is the claim?

Multiple posts are circulating on social media platform X with a photo that purportedly depicts a woman's mutilated body seen on a beach in the Maldives. One such post's caption states, "A girl who went on a trip to the #Maldives was found dead naked near the seashore. She was gang-raped and tortured before being killed! (sic)" Archived versions of such posts can be accessed here and here.

A post claiming that the viral photo shows a mutilated body in the Maldives. (Source:X)

These posts are being shared in the context of the India-Maldives diplomatic dispute triggered by disparaging comments made by some Maldivian ministers against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Outrage over the remarks led to calls on social media to boycott the Maldives as a travel destination and to promote Indian tourist sites like Lakshadweep. There have also been attempts to portray the Maldives as an unsafe tourist destination.

However, our investigation reveals that the photo is not from the Maldives and does not depict a deceased woman.

What is the truth?

Through a reverse image search and a keyword search on Google, we found multiple reports from Thai and English websites such as Sanook, Thaiger, and Metro, all published in August 2022. These reports revealed that concerned citizens on Bang Saen Beach in eastern Thailand had contacted emergency services after spotting what appeared to be a lifeless body on the beach. However, the police determined that it was not a deceased human but rather a lifelike rubber sex doll.

These reports included additional images of the doll from different angles and various locations on the beach. 

The report by Metro UK carried the viral image. (Source: Metro UK)

The Bang Saen Police, as quoted by The Mirror report, explained that on August 18, 2022, rescue teams were dispatched to the beach following reports of a naked and unconscious woman being found near the shore. Upon closer inspection, it was revealed to be an "AV doll."

"Her head was missing, and her bottom (half) was exposed. We checked on the Internet and they (the AV doll) cost about 20,000 Baht. We believe the doll had been dumped in a river or canal before entering the sea and washing up on the sand. It has now been removed to prevent it from scaring tourists. If the owner wants to reclaim their doll they can collect her from the rescue team's station,”  the police added.

These reports also linked to a post on the Facebook page “ชอบจัง บางแสน,” where these photos were posted on August 19, 2022.

Facebook post by ชอบจัง บางแสน (Source: Facebook)

No credible news reports describing such an incident related to the claim were found in online news searches for the Maldives.

The verdict

We have marked this claim as false since multiple reports confirm that the photo is of a sex doll washed up on a Thai beach in 2022.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before