Claim: Two claims about a downed UN drone loaded with gold, guns and parachutes found in DRC

Source: Viral video


 Researched by Sedem Kwasigah

A viral TikTok video of a downed UN drone being pushed out of a bush by a group of men is being widely shared across social media channels and portrayed as carrying 900 pounds of pure gold, guns and parachutes.

“UN drone found in a village in Congo. Transports 900 pounds of pure gold and guns and parachutes. A UN drone found in the DRC loaded with gold and guns. Now the picture can’t be clearer who is bringing instability to Africa,” are the some of the text labels splashed on the 1-minute and 30-seconds long video.

The viral video has been shared on Twitter (1), on TikTok (1,2,3) and on YouTube (12).

This fact-check report seeks to verify;

  • Whether the video is current and when it happened.
  • Whether the drone was carrying 900 pounds of gold, guns and parachutes.


In 1999, the United Nations Missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) was initiated and remained in force until 2010. The purpose of the force was to oversee the implementation of a ceasefire plan between the DRC and five regional states and to disengage parties involved in the war.

In 2010, however, MONUC was renamed the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). To enhance the work of Monusco, the United Nations, in 2013, for the first time in history, introduced the use of surveillance drones in the DRC. The drone models to be used were Selex ES Falco drones.


To fact-check the claims, GhanaFact began by searching the keyword UN 897 drone on Google Search Engine and found an image that looked like a video screenshot published on November 4, 2022, by a Facebook page, Nyaburunda Post.

The picture with the caption written in French and translated into English as “RDC: A Monusco drone flew over an island in the Virunga Basin, near the Luberon region in eastern Congo, formerly Zaire. Monusco assured the Congolese that the drone was not made by snipers.”

GhanaFact found published articles by some defence or war-focused news websites, including, and, about the drone crash on November 4, 2022, and identified the drone model as a Selex ES Falco-Evo drone.

According to the report by, on November 9, 2022, “the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has helped recover a crashed Falco Evo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operated by the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco). The aircraft (UN897) came down in Virunga National Park on 4 November but thanks to the deployment of a ballistic parachute, landed with minimal damage.”

Further checks by GhanaFact led to the discovery of a publication on the Twitter handle of The Chronicles Rwanda – a print media outlet in Rwanda –showing the same video and other photos from the scene of the accident.

The findings show that the viral video is dated and only being misrepresented more than a year after the facts.


Therefore, the claim is rated misleading.

Was the drone carrying 900 pounds of cargo?

To fact-check this claim, GhanaFact first verified the model of the drone as a Selex ES Falco-Evo by comparing the drone in the footage to a documentation of the Selex ES Falco-Evo on page 18 of this document.

The Falco-Evo is a surveillance and reconnaissance drone used to gather intelligence. The maximum carrying capacity (payload capacity) of the drone model as documented is 70kg which is equivalent to 154.32 pounds, which is almost six times smaller than the claimed 900 pounds of cargo.

Furthermore, none of the published news articles mentioned that the crashed drone had been recovered with gold, and guns on board.

Meanwhile GhanaFact has sent an email to the Strategic Communications team of UN Peacekeeping for further insights into the viral claims, and will update this report when we get a response.


The claim is rated false.