Fact Check: Fake Newspaper Clipping About Rahul Gandhi’s Arrest At Boston Airport Goes Viral

An image of a newspaper clipping has gone viral on social media claiming that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston Airport on charges of drugs possession and carrying unaccountable cash in 2001. This news clipping was published on September 30, 2001, with the headline, “Indian Politician Arrested.” 

The article reads, “An Indian politician was detained at Boston airport when the airport security found him in possession of banned drugs and unaccounted cash. As per our sources, he is the son of a former Indian Prime Minister. He was later released after the intervention of the Indian ambassador to the U.S. reports AFP.” 

The image is being shared on Facebook with a caption that reads, “When Rahul Gandhi was arrested back in Boston for drugs. He was released after intervention by PM Vajpeyee. Soniya begged and large hearted Vajpeyee spoke to US authorities. Now such shabby character wants to be PM. One can check newspaper clipping of Boston(USA”

Here’s the link to the above post


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim and found it to be FALSE. 

Starting with our investigation, we scanned through the website of AFP but could not find any similar news report it published. 

Although, we did find a fact-check post regarding the newspaper clipping published by AFP in January 2020. In the article, it was clarified that the newspaper clipping is fake and was digitally created using the website “fodey.com.”

We searched and found that “fodey.com” is an online newspaper clipping generator through which users can create an article with their own story and headline. 

We then created a similar news report on “fodey.com” and found many similarities between the viral image and the image created on “fodey.com”. 

Searching further, we found a news article published by The Hindu on September 30, 2001, which stated, “With the U.S. security agencies leaving nothing to chance after the September 11 terrorist strikes, sleuths of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “detained” Mr Rahul Gandhi, son of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, and the Leader of the Opposition, Ms Sonia Gandhi, for about an hour at the Boston airport early this week.” The article clearly states that after the 9/11 attacks, the security was intensified and therefore Rahul Gandhi was detained at the Boston Airport for an hour, not on the charges of drugs possession or carrying unaccountable cash. 

NewsMobile had debunked a similar digitally created newspaper clipping earlier as well. Check here, here and here.

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Thus, it is evident from the above information that a digitally created newspaper clipping is being falsely shared to suggest that Rahul Gandhi was detained at Boston Airport in 2001 on charges of possessing drugs and carrying unaccountable cash. 

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