An employee of a contractor at the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex near Kota Tinggi was detained by the authorities over false allegations over the loss of several family members due to Covid-19. Recently, a message claiming a PETRONAS employee who is having a really hard time after the loss of his wife, mother, children and siblings due to Covid-19 made its rounds on social media garnering sympathy from netizens.
The message also includes a call for donation from the public and they can channel their donations to the employee’s bank account. However, sympathy soon faded after it was revealed that the story was a mere fabrication and a scam for easy money.
The news was confirmed by PETRONAS in a statement made on Saturday (4th September). Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) through their statement informed that the male staff has also allegedly been receiving donations after appealing for public sympathy.
“We wish to stress that we do not condone such misconduct by any of our employees and contractors, who are all bound by strict code of conduct and business ethics (CoBE) while performing services for PETRONAS and its Group of Companies,” the statement read. PETRONAS also informed that they will extend full cooperation to the authorities in the investigation.
The staff known as Zahazan who worked as a supervisor at PETRONAS Pengerang is said to have lost his wife and three children who died in June and July respectively due to Covid-19. The man also claimed that his siblings and nephews also allegedly succumbed to the deadly virus earlier this month. It is understood that many good samaritans out there had already started channeling their donations after being touched by the alleged misfortunes that befell the staff.
The deceitful act enraged the public as the staff involved then shamelessly attended the virtual tahlil ceremony that was held for the ‘deceased’ family members. He also is said to have boldly given a speech at the session to hundreds of attendees who were concerned about his situation.
Kota Tinggi district police Chief Supt Hussin Zamora in confirming the arrest stated that the case would be investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.