The gold was unearthed in Turkey in 2016

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Photos of gold bars have been shared thousands of times in multiple Facebook posts along with a claim that a Japanese treasure site was found in Myanmar with enough gold to load 100 trucks. The claim is false; the gold was found during “illegal excavations” in Turkey in 2016, according to local media reports.

The post has been published here on Facebook on January 16, 2021. It has been shared more than 10,000 times.

A screenshot of the misleading posts taken on January 21, 2021

“A Japanese treasure site found at Mainbalar mountain in Thanbyuzayat,” the Burmese-language caption reads.

“From a Japanese treasure site where Yangon-based company and New Mon State Party are working together, a lorry load of gold bars were found. A street hawker lady witnessed 20 lorries passing there a day. As of their (witnesses') estimation, 100 lorries full of gold bars were found."

Thanbyuzayat is a town in Mon state, Myanmar. It is known for the Death Railway, which civilians and prisoners of war were forced to build during the Japanese occupation of Myanmar in the Second World World.

The same photos have been shared here, here and here on Facebook, with a similar claim.

However, the claim is false. 

A reverse image search on Google found the first photo was published here in 2017 on Turkish news website SuperHaber.

"Former head of Erdogan's security team sent to court over FETO links," the Turkish-language headline reads.

"In December, the authorities had received a tip saying that 20 tons of gold bars had been found during illegal excavations taking place in the Goynuk Canyon, located in Goynuk, in the district of Kemer,” the report claims.

“Acting on that tip, the police dispatched teams to search the area. During the investigation, 369 bars of plaster painted in gold were found in a cave whose entrance had been blocked. Four people were detained on December 28 in connection with this incident".

FETO is referred to a Turkish Islamic scholar and preacher, Fethullah Gulen’s network which is designated as a terrorist organization by the Turkey government. 

A screenshot of SuperHaber's news report taken on January 21, 2021.

Another Turkish website called SABAH reported the same story here in 2016.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the first photo in the misleading post (L) and the photo in SuperHerber’s news report (R):

A screenshot comparison between the first photo in the misleading post (L) and the photo in SuperHerber’s news report (R)

Further reverse image search on Google found the third, fourth, fifth and tenth photos were shared here on a website called TREASURENET on April 12, 2016. 

On the forum of the website, a user named Viking83 shared his findings with other users along with some images. Some of his images shared on the forum are identical to the photos in the misleading posts. 

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photos shared in the misleading Facebook posts (L) and photos shared on TREASURENET (R):

A screenshot comparison between the first photo in the misleading post (L) and photos shared on TREASURENET (R).