Man receives RM91,000 public donations over fake sad story

JOHOR BAHRU (Sept 6): A man who claimed that 14 of his family members had died as a result of Covid-19 to gain public sympathy had been collecting donations amounting to RM91,000 since June.

Kota Tinggi district police chief Supt Hussin Zamora said the 45-year-old man was believed to have spread fake news of the deaths of family members to get donations.

The man was arrested at the Bayu Damai police station in Kota Tinggi, on Saturday, and remanded for four days from yesterday.

"He managed to garner public sympathy by spreading false news through Whatsapp and Facebook, claiming that he is facing a severe test over the loss of his family members, and donations were banked into his account," Hussin said in a statement, yesterday.

Hussin said the case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and if convicted, the man could be jailed for not less than one year and not more than 10 years, with whipping, and could be fined.

Hussin advised the public to always be vigilant before making any contribution or donation, so as not to fall victim to fraud.

Earlier, Petronas in a statement confirmed that an employee of a contractor at the Pengerang Integrated Complex near Kota Tinggi had been detained by the authorities over false allegations of the loss of several family members due to Covid-19 infection.

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