A video of stacks of currency notes in a room, some of which is burnt, has gone viral on WhatsApp. The colour of the notes resembles the new notes introduced in India after demonetisation. This video went viral on WhatsApp along with a message, which claimed that the money was found at the residence of former Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave during the Income Tax Department’s search and seizure operation.
“The bungalow of Karnataka Congress Minister DK Shivakumar has been raided in Delhi, there was also an attempt to burn money. Sharing his video with you. Look at the rupees in the warehouse and share so that the true corrupt face of Congress can be seen!!!” the message reads. This is fake.
The video is of an art installation titled “European Dream” by Alejandro Monge. It was installed at the Art Madrid Festival. The video was shot on February 27, 2018 by a person, who attended the art festival. It was on display at the 3 Punts gallery, and none of the money in the video is real. Alejandro Monge had also shared the video on Instagram.
In April this year, the same video had gone viral in Tamil Nadu along with a message, which claimed that the money was found at a storage unit of a Tamil Nadu politician.
“Cash Cash and Cash only. One of Tamilnadu Politician – Fire in his godown Today – Currency burnt is meagre only. But see the stash of unaccounted money.” The message read. This was debunked by Boom Live earlier in April.
The video has gone viral along with fake messages not just in India, but in other countries as well. In March this year, the video was widely circulated in Russia, Cameroon and Haiti. In all these countries, the social media users sharing this video claimed that the money belonged to a politician.
In Haiti, the message accompanying the video stated that the stacks of cash was found at the home of Youri Latortue, a member of the political opposition and former president of the Haitian Senate. According to France 24, the video also went viral in Cameroon with the caption: “The Cameroonian minister of defence is hiding money. His wife tried to burn it before the police arrived.”
According to France 24, this post was referring to Cameroon’s former Minister of Defence Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o, who was suspected of embezzlement.
In Russia, the video was accompanied by a caption, which claimed that the money was found at the office of Russian Senator Rauf Arashukov and that he had tried to burn it. Rauf Arashukov was arrested in February this year during the session of the Russian Federation Council, the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia. Arashukov was arrested on accusations of murdering two people.
“My installation is a commentary on modern society and how everything revolves around money. I believe that money is the god of contemporary society. My sculpture is made up of about 500,000 hand-painted fake bills made out of resin. When I saw that my installation had been misappropriated in Russia, I had mixed feelings about it. At first, I laughed a lot and was flattered that my sculpture could fool so many people -- that meant that it was really realistic. But then I started to get a bit afraid because it was connected with a scandal in Russia and I didn’t want to be associated with that in any way,” Alejandro Monge had told France 24 at the time.