This article contains data related to the research article entitled “A case study to determine the geographical origin of unknown GM papaya in routine food sample analysis, followed by identification of papaya events 16-0-1 and 18-2-4” (Prins et al., 2016) . Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) with targets that are putatively present in genetically modified (GM) papaya was used as a first screening to narrow down the vast array of candidates. The combination of elements P-nos and nptII was further confirmed by amplification and subsequent sequencing of the P-nos/nptII construct. Next, presence of the candidate GM papayas 16-0-1 and 18-2-4 were investigated by amplification and sequencing of event-spanning regions on the left and right border. This data article reports the Cq values for GM elements, the nucleotide sequence of the P-nos/nptII construct and the presence of GM papaya events 18-2-4 and/or 16-0-1 in five samples that were randomly sampled to be analysed in the framework of the official Dutch GMO monitoring program for food.