Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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HomeFact checkViralBrazilian Government Did Not Display $4 Billion Cash, A Film’s Promotional Act...

Brazilian Government Did Not Display $4 Billion Cash, A Film’s Promotional Act Shared With Misleading Claims

A Twitter user claimed that stacks of cash worth $4 billion were on public display in Brazil. It further claimed that the Brazilian government recovered this money from its corrupt politicians and public servants. 

Accompanied by a video, the tweet reads, “This is not a Building, these are the 4 Billion Dollars that the Brazilian Government has recovered from its corrupt politicians and public servants, the money is displayed in public place for public viewing. One day we HOPE our Government of India displays such Loot.”

Shared on 30 September, this tweet by @mini_razdan10 garnered over 1K likes and 679 retweets at the time of writing this fact check. 

Other social media users shared this claim as well. 

https://www.facebook.com/monojitp.bharadwaj/videos/3455887071146756/
https://www.facebook.com/C.Abhilashkumar/videos/243089420474128/

A Youtube account called Viral Tv shared a similar claim on 3 October. 

Fact Check/ Verification 

A reverse image search on Yandex.com using keyframes from the video led us to a 2017 article by Gazetadopovo.com. It’s translated title reads, “R $ 4 billion stacked in Boca Maldita: how much the Lava Jato recovered.”

The article states that the 5 metre high fictitious pile of money displayed at Boca Maldita in Curitiba, Brazil was to promote the film Polícia Federal: a Lei é Para Todos. The title translates to “Federal Police: The Law is for Everyone.”

Gazeta do Povo's 2017 article on "R $4 Billion stacked in Boca Maldita: how much the Lava Jato recovered"
Gazeta do Povo’s 2017 article on “R $4 Billion stacked in Boca Maldita: how much the Lava Jato recovered”

The film was based on Lava Jato’, translated from Portugese as Operation Car Wash, which is a criminal investigation carried out by the Federal Police of Brazil, Curitiba Branch. The display of cash piles, though fictitious, aims to highlight the money and scandals uncovered through the investigation. 

Paranaportal in its 2017 article titled, “Pilha de dinheiro promove filme da Lava Jato no Centro de Curitiba,” which translates to, “Pile of money promotes Lava Jato film in downtown Curitiba,” details the promotional act for the film. 

Paranaportal's 2017 article on the stacks of money displayed to promote Lava Jato film in downtown Curitiba
Paranaportal’s 2017 article on the stacks of money displayed to promote Lava Jato film in downtown Curitiba

On 28 August 2017, CBN Curitiba: 90.1 FM tweeted an image of the cash stacks with a caption that translates to, “An action from the film Federal Police – The Law is for Everyone took stacks of “money” to Boca Maldita, in Curitiba, this Monday morning.”

The image shared by Curitiba 90.1FM is identical to a keyframe in the claim’s video. 

Conclusion 

The claims which state that the Brazilian government displayed $4 billion recovered from corrupt politicians and public servants are misleading. The accompanying video shows fictitious money which was publicly displayed in Boca Maldita in Curitiba, Brazil as part of promotions for the film Federal Police: The Law is for Everyone. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Gazetadopovo: https://www.gazetadopovo.com.br/curitiba/r-4-bilhoes-empilhados-em-plena-boca-maldita-o-quanto-a-lava-jato-recuperou-bk0qhe1akv3v6hj1kms6od1l9/ampgp/

Paranaportal: https://paranaportal.uol.com.br/politica/operacao-lava-jato/pilha-de-dinheiro-promove-filme-da-lava-jato-no-centro-de-curitiba/

CBN Curitiba: 90.1 FM: https://twitter.com/CBNCuritiba/status/902144636034134017?s=20

The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/01/brazil-operation-car-wash-is-this-the-biggest-corruption-scandal-in-history


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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