An angkot minivan driver, identified as 53-year-old Adie, was found dead inside his vehicle in the Tangerang Regency on Saturday, with police believing his death may have been caused by overeating durian.
The police say they found no evidence of foul play behind Adie’s death. According to witnesses they interviewed, Adie ate too many durian seeds the night before his death.
“It’s believed the victim died because of high blood pressure. By eating the durian, it caused his blood vessels to burst and blood came out of his nose,” South Tangerang Police Crime Investigation Unit Alexander Yuriko told Kompas yesterday.
Alexander added that the victim’s family said Adie had a history of hypertension. However, they refused to let authorities perform an autopsy on him (most Indonesian burial customs require the deceased to be interred immediately after death, which the police can circumvent only if they find signs of foul play).
While the police’s explanation for Adie’s death may raise questions, without an autopsy the true cause of his death, and the culpability of durian in his demise, will remain unknown.
There is widespread belief in Indonesia that the king of fruits may exacerbate high blood pressure so it must be eaten in moderate amounts. However, nutrition experts in Indonesia say that durian actually contains healthy monounsaturated fats that could help normalize blood pressure.
That said, there’s been no conclusive evidence proving or disproving the link between durian and high blood pressure, as the fruit may have different effects on different people, so eating it in moderation is advised.
Jakarta and its satellite cities, including Tangerang, are currently in the midst of durian season. Reports say that sellers in the capital can sell one locally-sourced durian for under IDR50K (US$3.50), which is around half of the regular price at any other time of the year.