VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website MISLEADS with rehashed photos of a police raid on illegal factory

An online post that recycled photos of cops seizing sacks and spools of counterfeit food seasoning is making the rounds online, giving the impression that the raid was fairly recent.

The story, “Fake Magic Sarap and Knorr Sinigang nasabat ng pulisya (Fake Magic Sarap and Knorr Sinigang busted by the police),” published by website Pinoy Newspaper Sept. 24, carries 10 photos. Five photos compare sachets of supposedly fake “Magic Sarap” seasoning with authentic ones, and another five show police officers busting the fake goods in a warehouse.

A cursory search traces the photos of the raid to a July 2015 video report by GMA News, apparently taken during a police enforcement operation in a Talavera, Nueva Ecija warehouse and factory.

At least four websites had published the same content, the earliest one posted in July 2016:

  • Thetrendingfacts.com: “Police warns: 5 facts to check FAKE seasoning mixes such as Magic Sarap and Sinigang Mix,” published late July 2016
  • Iweb.ph: “Beware! Fake Magic Sarap and Knorr Sinigang,” August 2016
  • Samperkinzblog.com: “LOOK: BEWARE of the FAKE Magic Sarap,” October 6, 2017
  • Pilipinastrendnews.info: “Beware! Fake Magic Sarap and Knorr Sinigang nasabat ng pulisya,” August 2018

The misleading story also embedded a video of a man warning against buying the fake seasoning, first uploaded on Youtube in May 11, 2015.

Nestle Philippines, manufacturer of Maggi Magic Sarap, issued statements in September 2016 to thank the Philippine National Police for the July 2015 raid. In October 2017, it released another statement when photos of the same raid made the rounds online.

The misleading story has been shared at least 2,200 times and could have reached some 672,396 people. Pinoy Newspaper was created on Sept. 1, 2018; samperkinzblog.com in 2017; thetrendingfacts.com in 2015; pilipinasnewstrend.info in 2017 and iweb.ph’s earliest record was in 2012.


(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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