An article published on prlog.org claims that on February 21, the graffiti artist and political instigator operating under the alias ‘Banksy’ was taken into police custody. Several incorrect facts have led to speculation that the article is a hoax.
The article cites a confirmation from the London Police that Banksy is 39-year-old Paul William Horner from Bristol. The release claims Horner’s press agent and online booking service has upheld the police statements.
The release alleges that Horner was captured thanks to a tip-off to the London Anti-Graffiti Task Force. The article claims the organization had been tracking various street art groups associated with Banksy on a 24-hour basis.
The unconfirmed story is recapped below.
Task Force agents waited outside an apartment rumored to be a Banksy art space. At 2 am, a group of five men exited the apartment. Authorities arrested the men and checked their identification documents.
Only one man had no ID. Police authorities believed the man was long-sought graffiti legend Banksy.
The arrests were followed by a full raid of the apartment. Task force members found a passport and ID belonging to Paul William Horner. The documents matched the appearance of the man they had apprehended.
Authorities also found thousands in counterfeit bills and plans for future street art endeavors.
The article quotes a London Police Chief by the name of Wayne Leppard as he confirms that Horner is being held without bail.
The head of the London Police goes by the title of Commissioner, not Chief. The current Commisioner is Adrian Leppard.
According to the quotes, Horner faces charges of vandalism, racketeering, forging currency, and conspiracy. In the article, ‘Chief’ Leppard noted that authorities will not yet provide the names of the other four apprehended artists.
The article claims that Banksy’s project manager, Kyle Brock, told CNN that he feared criminal charges himself. There is no evidence of such an exchange with the news network. Brock allegedly referred to the staggering British anti-graffiti campaign, saying, “I can’t image [Banksy] will be the only one to go down in all of this.”
The article also cites the alleged reactions of fellow street artists, including a quote from a source operating under the pseudonym ‘Space Invader’. In the article, ‘Space Invader’ claims Banksy’s output is clearly artistic. The artist is quoted labeling police efforts to catch the famed graffiti artist ‘ridiculous’.
There is no record of a ‘Space Invader’ street art persona. A French artist who goes by ‘Invader’ is famous for his street art mosaics featuring characters from 1978 arcade game ‘Space Invaders’.
London authorities and Banksy affiliates have not yet commented on the article.