Did Interpol Post This Tweet About the Arrest of a Turkish Businessman in Kenya?

By Naomi Wanjiku

This image of a tweet purporting to come from Interpol, comments on the arrest of a Turkish businessman in Kenya. Part of the message in the screenshot reads: “We have not instructed Kenya to arrest Turkish businessman and neither do we have any warrant (for) his arrest.”

Background

News reports say Turkish businessman Harun Aydin was arrested on 7 August 2021, at Wilson Airport, Nairobi by immigration officers and detectives of Kenya’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU).

Aydin, who jetted into Kenya from Uganda, was reportedly interrogated about his suspected involvement in criminal activities. However, on Monday 9 August 2021, Aydin left Kenya, with speculation rife that he had been deported. His lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, later tweeted that Aydin left Nairobi voluntarily.

On 13 August 2021, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i told the National Assembly’s Committee on Administration and National Security that Aydin had been deported.

Matiang’i, who appeared before the National Assembly committee in Mombasa, said that Aydin was deported because of suspicious movements and association with people linked to money laundering.

The Interior CS further told the committee that sister security agents tipped off the Kenyan government that Aydin was moving around the region with people linked to money laundering. Dr Matiang’i clarified that Kenya did not press charges against Aydin following an agreement with the Turkish government that the businessman would be tried in his homeland

Verification

The screenshot of the tweet from Interpol started circulating on social media following Aydin’s arrest in Kenya.

But was the tweet shared by the Twitter account @Interpol?

A review of the Interpol Twitter account does not show any tweet about the Turkish businessman. This is an indication that the tweet was either doctored or deleted by the administrator of the Interpol Twitter account.

Based on their Twitter bio, the website link attached and the type of posts published, @Interpol appears to be an organisation whose main role is in music.

The account, @Interpol which is verified with a blue tick, shows that the majority of the posts are music-related. Hence it would be odd if they posted a tweet regarding the arrest of Harun Aydin.

The international organisation that deals with crime and policing matters is INTERPOL (The International Criminal Police Organization). We reviewed INTERPOL’s Twitter account and could not find any evidence of such a Twitter post. Similarly, no record of the statement attributed to INTERPOL is available on the website or in online news reports.

INTERPOL is an intergovernmental organisation that helps police in 194 member countries to make the world a safer place. The organisation offers technical and operational support such as data on crimes and criminals to member states. INTERPOL is run by a secretary-general and the staff comprises police officers and civilians. Kenya is a member country of the organisation, which is headquartered in Lyon, France.

Verdict

PesaCheck has looked into a screenshot of a tweet attributed to Interpol commenting on the arrest of a Turkish businessman and finds it to be FABRICATED.

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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