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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Trinidadian Cricketer Denesh Ramdin NOT Arrested at New York JFK Airport With 20Kg of Cocaine

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sun, 22 Apr 2018 15:25:36 Z)

Was cricket player Denesh Ramdin arrested in New York's JFK Airport for trying to smuggle 20 kilograms of cocaine? No, that story is the latest hoax from the newest site in a network of fake news websites that usually deals in celebrity death hoaxes.

The story was published published on or around April 22, 2018 by a site named New York and using the domain nytimes-news.com (unaffiliated with the real New York times) under the headline "Trinidadian cricketer Denesh Ramdin arrested at New York JFK Airport With 20Kg of Cocaine" (archived here) which opened:

NEW YORK - Trinidadian and West Indies' cricketer Denesh Ramdin has been arrested at New York's JFK Airport for trying to smuggle 20 kilograms of cocaine hidden in two bags of coffee inside his suitcase, authorities said on Friday.

Customs and Border Protection police officers searched his suitcase upon suspicion and found a plastic coffee bag containing white powder, officials said.

He was taken to a private search room, where the officers found a second bag full of powder. Both tested positive for cocaine.

Screenshot of http://nytimes-news.com/trinidadian-cricketer-denesh-ramdin-arrested-at-new-york-jfk-airport-with-20kg-of-cocaine/

Ramdin took to Twitter to deny the rumor:

The site that posted the hoax is part of a network of fake news websites that all have normal looking front pages with some generic news stories taken from other websites but which frequently publish hoax articles on other parts of the site that aren't immediately obvious to visitors. These stories frequently are death hoaxes about celebrities or other well known people that have been reported as being in the hospital by mainstream news sources. Some sites we've identified as part of the network include:


We wrote a longer exposé about that network here if you are interested in reading more about the kinds of tricks and tactics used by this network.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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