Social media is a treasure trove of the viral videos but sometimes even the most viral of videos can be full of half-truths. A mysterious video has propped up on the internet showing two white men inspecting cases filled with a bunch of gold bars. The video made netizens curious when it first started circulating online around the middle of August. Since then, people have come up with different theories for the video with some even claiming that the video actually shows custom officials seizing gold stolen by French soldiers in Mali, while others alleged that the gold part was actually a scheme involving politicians in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to an investigation by foreign media, who managed to contact the men in the video and find out the real truth.
The video is about of about 3 minutes long and allegedly shows people arguing about some boxes which when opened showed full of gold bars. Two white men can be seen interacting in both French and English and checking the product. The men can be seen directly speaking to the camera on several moments and, at one point, hold up a snippet of paper with several names mentioned on it. The video ends abruptly with one of the men addressing the camera explaining the gold bars.
One of the most widely shared titles on the video says that the footage shows Mali custom officials seizing gold that French troops were allegedly attempting to smuggle out of the country. In Mali, much of the population has a belief that the French army has a presence in the country to steal gold. One tweet highlighting this theory has garnered more than 400,000 views in less than 24 hours. It was deleted but can be seen here as a screenshot.
That's not all, as a similar video was posted in Ghana social media and people thought it was gold of family of President of Congo.
First of all, in the longer version of this video, one of the white men is holding a newspaper in his hand. If one pauses the video, one can make out the newspaper is widely circulated in Ghana. The second clue is the name FarTrade, which appears on a piece of paper held by one of the men. According to its website, FarTrade is a company that offers support to European companies that wish to invest in Africa.
FarTrade reportedly responded to the investigation, asking to instead contact “Mr. René Verrecchia for more information". René Verrecchia is an Italian lawyer. Verrecchia runs his own legal practice in Rome. He says that he knows FarTrade but that the company had nothing to do with the gold in the video.
According to reports, he informed on phone that this video was filmed about two months ago in Accra. He and his friend, who is also Italian, were hired to represent potential buyers who wanted to establish themselves in the commodities sector. This has all been a gross misrepresentation of an inspection carried out during a business. They were inspecting the merchandise and the documents. The footage was recorded by one of the middlemen to show his client that the product has arrived at its destination and was under investigation. The names that were written on paper were of prospective buyers of gold.