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Police in South Sumatra have arrested the daughter of a late businessman over an inconceivably generous donation for COVID-19 relief that turned out to be a big fat lie.

On July 26, Heriyanti made national headlines after symbolically pledging to donate IDR2 trillion (US$138.8 million) to the South Sumatra Police to assist with COVID-19 handling in the province. 

The money claimed to have been set aside by Heriyanti’s father, the late palm oil and construction tycoon Akidi Tio, in his will to be donated to the public in times of great need.

But the money never came, and the donation proved too good to be true when the police today said that, after a week of investigation, they have determined that the money doesn’t exist.

Heriyanti was charged for spreading misinformation that may lead to public unrest, and may face up to two years in prison if convicted.

“The suspect is still under investigation,” South Sumatra Police Grand Commissioner Ratno Kuncoro confirmed today.

Police have yet to disclose Heriyanti’s motives for the public deception, though if anyone were to guess, it probably has to do with maintaining a philanthropic public image.

Read the latest news on Coconuts Jakarta

This article, Indonesian woman arrested after IDR2 trillion donation for COVID-19 relief proved too good to be true, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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