Are the children shown being removed from the back of a semi-trailer in a video on social media, purportedly in London, the victims of sex or organ trafficking? No, that's not true: There's no substantiated evidence or credible sources supporting the claim and London's Metropolitan Police Service said, "there's nothing of this nature" in their logs.
The claim appeared in a post and video on Instagram (archived here) published on July 23, 2023, under the title "Are you awake yet????😠 All the children got rescued 💪⚠️🙏" The caption for the video said:
Protect the children and fight for them. 🙏🏼
THE AWAKENING 👁👁 ...
#soulawakening #spiritualawakening #awaken #awakening #theawakening #thegreatawaking #biblical #biblicaltruth #endtimes #endtime #endtimesprophecy #thelastdays
This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Tue Jul 25 17:09:23 2023 UTC)
The 55-second clip is narrated by an unidentified person. Here's what is said in the video:
You have it, ladies and gentlemen. This is the core truth about child trafficking. Children found alone in the back of an 18-wheeler in London. All the children were rescued and put in a safe place. But this is the reason why the media and the government don't want you to go watch the 'Sound of Freedom' because it's waking people up, and people are looking for ways of helping the children.
Now, remember, child trafficking and organ trafficking is their business. That is what they're dealing with right now. It's a bigger business than selling drugs and selling weapons. Wasn't [Isaac] Kappy taken out for talking about all the government people and our government and our superstars and all these people high up there: Beyonce, Jay-Z, Oprah, Kevin Spacey, James Franco, Tom Hanks, all these pedophiles that work for ... [ends abruptly]
The narration apparently makes reference to Isaac Kappy, an actor who died by suicide in 2019.
The post does not indicate when the purported incident took place nor does it provide evidence to support its claims that the children were victims of sex or organ trafficking.
The video used in the narrated clip comes from a slightly longer video posted to TikTok (archived here) a year and a half earlier on January 19, 2022. The minute-long clip was published under the title "Video of children being found in the back of a lorry [truck] in London. Beyond tragic." The caption for the video said:
Yesterday my brother-in-law filmed this Saf event of children and adults being found in a lorry after making the dangerous journey to the UK.
The original video appears below:
Yesterday my brother-in-law filmed this Saf event of children and adults being found in a lorry after making the dangerous journey to the UK.♬ original sound - Ramo Repus
The "Saf" in the post may be a reference to the United Nation's Safe and Fair program, which is part of an "initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls." This is how the U.N. website describes it:
The programme aims to strengthen labour migration governance and address risks inherent in migration systems that can result in violence and trafficking, strengthen rights-based and gender-responsive approaches to violence against women and labour migration governance and support access to essential services.
Metropolitan Police Service
Narration in the Instagram post says the scene occurred in London, and the uniforms worn by officers in the video are consistent with those of British police.
Lead Stories asked Met Police if they had any details about an incident in London as shown in the video that involved the sex or organ trafficking of children on or around January 18, 2022. The original video, which was posted on January 19, 2022, said the clip was filmed a day earlier. Josh Coupe with Met Police gave this response in a July 24, 2023, email:
I've looked through our press office logs for that month and there's nothing of this nature - and I don't remember dealing with such an incident.
Ultimately, it's unclear what the clip is showing. Lead Stories reached out to the holder of the account to see if they could clarify any details. If a response is received, it will be added to the story.
Additional Lead Stories fact checks of claims about children and sex trafficking can be found here.