FACT CHECK: Is this a CCTV footage of a burglary in Sri Lanka? Find out the Truth…

International Misleading Social

Awareness video campaigns creators often use creative storytelling to effectively communicate message on public safety and create awareness over various issues. However, sometimes these videos are so real that when shared without a disclaimer it can mislead people.

Similar incident happened in Sri Lanka, when a part of an awareness video of new means used by a group of robbers in India, got shared as real scenes in Ratmalana / Rajagiriya etc. Let’s look at the social media claims.

What is the Claim?

A Facebook user added a video showing how a group of robbers used a novel tactic to lure the house owner outside. Scenes looked like CCTV footage of a real robbery and were shared along with the caption below.

By the way Ratmalana is tested with a major gang of robbers professional highly trained with weapons Robbed so many houses they want only cash n gold nothing else”.


In the video, we can see the robbers first opening a water tap outside the main door of the house and hide, waiting for the owner to come outside. Unaware of the lurking danger, hearing the sound from the opened water tap, a man comes out of the house to close the tap. Robbers utilize this opportunity to attack the man and enter the house.

 This scary scene first went viral on WhatsApp as seen below.

This video appeared on Twitter as well.

Archived Link

Fact Check

We searched about this video in mainstream media in Sri Lanka, and were not able to find such an incident. We also contacted Mt.Lavinia Police station to whom the Rathmalana area belongs and they emphasized that there weren’t any reports regarding such a house burglary and group of robbers in the recent past.

When we critically analyzed the video, it gave an impression that the scenes were staged and the robber, who attacked the house owner with a stick, was acting and was not actually hitting. Furthermore, there was a line in one part of the video saying that recreated video for awareness”.

To find out the origins of this video, we did a reverse image search on keyframes obtained using In-Vid We Verify and found similar videos, shared in early October in Malayalam language. With this information we managed to identify the original video 

After further investigation of that Malayalam video, we were able to find the original video which ran for 5 minutes, including the snippet shared on social stream in Sri Lanka, 

Fact Crescendo Malayalam team managed to contact Ashraf, the owner of the Karate & Fitness Tutorial channel, which published the above video for awareness purposes. We also noticed that Ashraf, a karate Professional and self-defense trainer from Kasaragod, Kerala, had published many such awareness videos on his YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Ashraf clarified that he created the video for making the public aware of such tactics used by robbers. The real incident happened in Kannur, Kerala where a 74 year old lady who lived in solitude was the unfortunate victim. Ashraf added that there was no footage from the actual horrifying incident, but he recreated the setup at his own house based on the media reports.

Below is one such media report.

Mathrubhumi | Archived Link

Here is our Sinhala version of this fact check

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Snippets of an awareness video had been shared in a misleading manner earlier as well. Here is our Sinhala fact check, in which a snippet from the world ocean day promo video had got shared in a misleading manner.


We verified that the video viral on social media in Sri Lanka claiming to be CCTV footage of a Robbery at Rathmalana was actually part of an awareness video from Kerala, India. 

Ashraf a karate Professional and self-defense trainer from Kasaragod, Kerala had created the awareness video at his own house, based on a real life incident, which happened in late September, where a 74-year-old woman from Kerala was the victim.

Sri Lanka police confirmed that no such incident happened in the Rathmalana area recently as well.


Title:Is this a CCTV footage of a burglary in Sri Lanka? Find out the Truth…

Fact Check By: Kalana Krishantha 

Result: Misleading

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