244 Inmates Escaping Their Prison Cells In Fiji Is Fake News
By Erica Abbott
Reports that hundreds of inmates escaped from a prison in Fiji are false. No such prison break occurred in Fiji—the fabricated story originated on a fake news website.
The fake claim was originally published by MegaNews360, a website that is known for posting disreputable news and entertainment articles. The article first claimed in the headline that 85 inmates had escaped, but then contradicted themselves in the first sentence by indicating that it was actually 244 criminals. It purported:
Ten people have died after a “violent prison break”, with 244 criminals escaping from their cells and fleeing the area in what officials have called a “mutiny”.
More than 244 inmates have escaped from Fiji (FCS) Corrections Service in Suva.
The inmates stole eight rifles; a guard and an inmate were killed in an exchange of fire.
It also claimed that the Fijian government condemned the “prison mutiny” in a tweet. None of what is reported in the story, however, is true. Snopes reports that the story appears to have taken details from a Reuters report about a real prison break that occurred last year in Haiti. A manhunt was launched to locate the 174 fugitives during that incident.
The Fiji Corrections Service also took to Facebook to disprove the fake Fijian prison escape. “Please be reminded that this news article is not true,” they wrote. “Everything is under control and there was no prison breakout as reported.” They added that MegaNews360 “intentionally publishes hoaxes and disinformation” for reasons beyond news satire.
Have you seen this fake story about an “armed prison break” in Fiji circulating social media? Sound off in the comments section below!
Photo credit: Bill Selak, Flickr