SINGAPORE: A viral video circulating on social media and WhatsApp, purportedly of a kidnapped child boxed in ice by organ sellers, actually shows a boy who drowned, according to reports.
The video, which was shared more than 7,500 times on one Facebook page, shows a woman sobbing as she unpacks a Styrofoam box containing the body of a young child lying atop ice.
In Singapore, the video is being circulated on WhatsApp with the message: "Kidnapped children boxed in ice to be transported and sold for their organs. Common in inhumane and materialistic China. So cruel and barbaric just to get rich quick."
However, Chinese-language media reported that police from Yiyang city in Hunan province had clarified that the incident is not a criminal case.
The boy drowned at a relative's house in Guangdong, and was packed in a box of ice to be transported home due to fears of his body rotting in the summer heat, the police said according to an Apple Daily Taiwan report last Friday (Jul 14).
The Eastern Broadcasting Company's online news site EToday said that the videos of the boy lying in the box started circulating widely last Thursday, and there have been many rumours about the cause of death.
Aside from the theory that he was being trafficked for organs, some also speculated that he accidentally fell asleep in the box, freezing to death when it was sent to be refrigerated as vegetables, ETtoday said.
Following the clarification from police, many netizens are lambasting those spreading fabricated news about the incident, calling on them not to use the dead to spread rumours, both Apple Daily Taiwan and ETtoday reported.