Gabon coup: Here are the facts about the viral video of bags full of money

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, a group of senior military officers announced a coup on state-owned TV in Gabon. The announcement came barely an hour after the electoral commission said President Ali Bongo had won a third term in the August 26 presidential election.

Following the coup, social media has been awash with videos of monies stashed in bags reported to emanate from the ousted President’s home.

In Ghana, the video with different captions was widely shared on X (Formerly Twitter) as seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The video shared on social media claimed that the money belonged to Ali Bongo, others said it belonged to his son while others accused the Chief of Staff at the Presidency.

Fact-Check Ghana’s team has verified the authenticity of the viral video as well as the claims and this is what we know so far.

The team engaged in comprehensive online research and interviews with journalists in Gabon regarding the viral video and the associated claims.

The 25-second video contained suitcases and bags filled with bundles of banknotes, suspected to be CFA francs, dollars.

Checks by Fact-Check Ghana indicate that the videos are real and have indeed emanated from Gabon following the announcement of the coup.

The reports and interviews with local journalists revealed that the monies were found in the home of Yann Ngoulou, Director of Presidential Affairs at the Office of Nourredine Bongo, the eldest son of President Bongo, who doubles as the Coordinator of Presidential Affairs.

According to the reports, Nourredine Bongo and Yann Ngoulou were arrested by the Committee for Transition and Restoration of Institution (CTRI), the junta who has overthrown the President of Gabon, Bongo Ali.

The report added that the CTRI charged the two officials with high treason against institutions of the republic, corruption, drug trafficking, forgery, and falsification of the signature of the president among others.

Gabonese journalists Fact-check Ghana spoke with confirmed that the video was shot yesterday, August 30, during a search of Yann Ngoulou’s house affirming the numerous media reports.

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