Claims of Joy Alukkas owner dies of coronavirus go viral; Fact Check

Digiteye India received a message forward which stated that the owner of Joyalukkas jewelry group — Joy Alukkas — is dead. The message, which is making rounds on social media, claims that the owner of the group is dead because of the coronavirus but his body could not be brought back to India because of the current lockdown in the country. See the WhatsApp message below:

joyalukkas

The message reads:

“Thats life…. !
Humans r just a very small thing. C How huge is his House & also his Bank balance…!
His body could not even be brought to Kerala due to covid issue….!
May his soul RIP…!💐
Joy Arackal, 52 year’s , owner of ( Joy Alukas ) the largest house in kerala (45000 sft) dies in the middle East due to Corona Virus…!
See his house. 😳😷”

Fact Check:

Simple Google News search reveals relevant information here. The man in the message is Joy Arakkal who is an NRI petroleum refiner. As stated in the message above, he does have the biggest house in Kerala known as Arakkal Palace. He died on April 23 in Dubai not because of coronavirus but of heart attack.

As claimed in the message, Joy Arukkal does not own the popular jewelry brand Joyalukkas but was the managing director of Innova Refining and Trading FZE, which is a trading firm with focus on processing petroleum and related products with its base in Dubai. Due to the lockdown situation in the country, his family is still waiting for permission to get the body to Wayanad in Kerala.

The original sender of the message confused Joy Arakkal with Joy Alukkas, a famous jeweller in India, who goes by the brand name of Joyalukkas, based in Dubai and Kerala. The claim is clearly false.

Conclusion:

The claim in the message is a case of confusion between two personalities having the same phonetically sounding surname. Our rating ?? Misinterpretation.

About Snigdha Nalini

Snigdha Nalini is an intern with Digiteye India and a student of journalism at the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC), Pune. She can be reached at snigdha@digiteye.in.

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