Fake News: 15 Pakistani immigrants abducted in Romania

The Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune published a story on May 15th regarding the abduction for ransom of 15 Pakistanis heading to Germany: 15 Pakistanis heading to Europe held for ransom in Romania. The information has been proven to be false.

The Express Tribune was using information from an organization called Swat Press Club located in Swat valley (Mingora) Pakistan. The preliminary TrustServista analysis of the Express Tribune article could not determine Patient Zero, as Swat Press Club does not have a publicly available website. However, one of the red flags found was the missing full author name; the article is signed with the nickname Sherinzada.

Manually searching for the Swat Press Club webpage lead to finding a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Swat-Press-Club-1592606187734144 indicating the website could be http://www.dailyhumawam.com which could not be processed automatically.

The first debunk of this story comes from the Romanian media, who originally picked up the information from the Express Tribune and published it as breaking news. One of the main Romanian news agencies published a statement from the Romanian Police denying there is any record of Pakistani citizens abducted in Romania: http://www.mediafax.ro/social/politia-romana-nu-confirma-informatia-publicata-de-cotidianul-the-express-tribune-privind-rapirea-celor-15-pakistanezi-in-romania-16314612

An English-language article of the debunking of this story is: http://www.romaniajournal.ro/update-romanian-police-deny-15-pakistanis-are-being-held-for-ransom-in-romania/



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