Jakarta – Family members of late Aceh businessman Akidi Tio had initially drawn praise after they made a Rp 2 trillion (US$139 million) donation for COVID-19 mitigation efforts in South Sumatra.
But it was later found that South Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Eko Indra Heri – the intended recipient of the donation – never received the funds, forcing him to issue a public apology.
The donation was handed symbolically on July 26 by Akidi's youngest daughter Heriyanti and the family doctor, Hardi Darmawan, to Eko, who personally knew the late businessman during his assignment in East Aceh.
Following the event, Heriyanti reportedly handed a check to Eko but the authorities found that the check could not be cleared by the bank.
"I deeply apologize, this incident happened due to my negligence. As [police] chief I was at fault for not checking whether the money was available before carrying out the ceremony," Eko said in a press conference on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.
The South Sumatra Police have investigated Heriyanti on suspicions of spreading a hoax, which could result in a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment. The police questioned Heriyanti and five other people as witnesses in the case and have yet to name any suspects.
Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (PPATK) chairman Dian Ediana Rae said the agency had launched a probe into the case and would report its result to National Police chief Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo.
The National Police have also recently deployed a team to question Eko in relation to the incident. (nal)