POLICE IN BALI GREEDY FOR DOLLARS FROM THE TOURIST.how did it happen?

In our previous 2 reports about the unlawful acts routinely committed by corrupt Balinese police officers (see: Corrupt Indonesian / Balinese Police Cross Checks & Indonesian / Balinese Police Investigations / Summons), we have reported how police in Bali can abuse their exceptionally corrupt legal system to extort money from both tourists and, in particular, investors and residents in Bali. We have shown how the amount they will expect to extort from a person rises if that person fights their extortion. We have also illustrated in our other reports that there is very little prospect, to say the least, that anyone fighting police extortion in Bali will get anywhere except further out of pocket and in jail, due to the fact Indonesia has the world’s most corrupt judiciary (legal system including the judges themselves). We have even explained why the new presidentially appointed Indonesian Commission for Corruption Reduction is most likely a presidential exercise in International PR and doomed to be totally ineffective, except where the Indonesian president wants it to be, because of the way it has been set up (see: Indonesian Corruption Commission Report).

We have shown, for example, in the case of Candi Internet Bali how corrupt Balinese police are above the law and, in fact, a law unto themselves. How they can and do unlawfully put people in jail indefinitely for ignoring an improperly served police summons for an unlawful, trumped up investigation which the Indonesian Corruption Commission themselves have said needs to be investigated, and when the summons was not ignored in any case. In other words, if someone fights Balinese police extortion and they are in Bali, they will almost certainly go to jail for confronting the police.

But what if someone who eludes and upsets the “polisi” is not in Bali, what can the corrupt mafia style police of Bali do to them? Why, they can and do abuse their reporting and application agreement with Interpol. What does that mean? Corrupt Balinese police officers can and do have people they failed to extort money from and who have taken action against them placed on Interpol’s watch list, or maybe worse. Some may quaff, but the evidence is there for all to see. And these facts will hopefully disgust people enough, as they should, and put the nail in the coffin of any thoughts any decent person had of travelling to or investing in Bali until such corruption and abuse stops.

If a person who is the subject of police extortion in Bali has “ignored” a police summons, either because attending would be impossible due to the fact of where they are living and / or the time given, or because they have been advised not to comply with that summons by their lawyers because of the risk of civil and / or human rights abuse. Even where their lawyer has made the correct legal submissions to defend their client’s position, the Balinese police will almost certainly place them on the Daftar Pencarian Orang or list of wanted people in Indonesia! At this point the Balinese police can and do make an application to have that person placed on Interpol’s watch list. They do this for two reasons.

The first is that Internal Balinese police surveillance is so abysmal, despite the fact everyone arriving in the country has to declare where they are staying on immigration entry forms and thereafter on hotel registration forms, which both get passed to the police the next day. But it is clear the police do not actually look at these forms unless they have particular cause to. It is all an ecologically unfriendly waste of paper and guests’ time as no police officer is ever likely to look at any from a hotel unless he is specifically told to for a particular reason. And immigration has the responsibility to advise the police of anyone entering Bali whom they wish to know about. Also, because each island’s police force seems to run separately and so inefficiently, it is likely the Balinese police do not trust, say, the Javanese police and immigration to report the arrival of someone on their, the Balinese police’s watch list. What this means is that someone just on the Balinese police watch list could easily and simply fly into Jakarta undetected, and then catch an internal flight to Bali without the Balinese police ever being aware. No, really, their internal system is that flawed. No wonder they need foreign police to catch their criminals for them!

So by placing a person on Interpol’s watch list, the Balinese police can find out from much more efficient police forces around the world if and when a person is coming to anywhere within Indonesia, as the information is provided when that person uses an International airport overseas. When the “suspect” checks in, their details including destination automatically get advised to the police who made the watch application. So Bali’s inept police get told hours in advance that a “suspect” is due to arrive in say Jakarta. So they can contact the Jakarta police with specifics for them to detain that person.

But putting someone on Interpol’s watch list is also likely done by corrupt Balinese / Indonesian police officers because it is a malicious revengeful payback for fighting their corruption, as people on Interpol’s watch list may be refused entry into other countries, especially if the reason for surveillance has been falsified, so it can dramatically affect their civil and human rights outside Indonesia. In the sorry case of corruption against Mark Austin at the bequest of competitor Jack Daniels (see: Bali Discovery Tours report), the extortion motivated police who are conducting a so called investigation against overseas resident Mark Austin into criminal libel against Jack Daniels trumped up the reason given to Interpol as Mr. Austin being a suspected insurgent!

Surely, you must be thinking, such a renowned International crime fighting organization with such a high reputation could not be so abused. Unfortunately, Interpol is ripe for and frequently gets abused, and there is little they can do about it. You see, Interpol needs to co-operate with nations like Indonesia in order to get details from them on suspected criminals, particularly terrorists on Indonesian soil. The pay off is they need to provide member facilities to the Indonesian police in return, and even if Interpol know a country abuses their Interpol membership, they simply do not want to risk losing vital criminal and terrorist intelligence reporting by taking these countries to account.

But surely, Interpol is based in France. If they allowed these things to go on, they could be sued in the European Union Court of Human Rights? Not so. Interpol was founded after the Second World War by a special UN charter in order to allow them to track down war criminals. This means that Interpol answer to nobody, not even the UN. They are an organization for police cross co-operation without legal jurisdiction anywhere! When Interpol was founded, the reasons for doing it the way the UN did made sense. But now the absolute autonomy of an enlarged Interpol is bringing many problems due to member abuse.

In most recent times, a political Kurdish dissident freed from a Turkish jail under an amnesty scheme moved to England and founded a highly successful, and political Kurdish TV channel which is broadcast by satellite across the world. The Turkish authorities annoyed at this station and its success, held an illegal secret trial against that man, found him guilty (of course), and then placed him on Interpol’s detention list. When this poor man next traveled, he was arrested at a European airport and was nearly deported to Turkey for almost certain human right abuse, probably death. Even though he held British travel documents and was granted political asylum in the UK. Fortunately, his British lawyer was able to fly out and have him repatriated into the UK. But now this poor man can not travel outside the UK, despite the fact the Turkish authorities have acted illegally. The case went to the EU Court of Human Rights in Strasburg, only to be rejected purely on jurisdictional grounds. The UN itself is now being taken to task over this and other similar Interpol matters. So where is Interpol’s reputation now?

Well, Interpol does have an anti-corruption mandate for its members. But filing a complaint to a panel within an autonomous body with sole interest in criminal intelligence without redress to any nation’s law is clearly, at best, overly optimistic. In Mark Austin’s case, his London lawyers are making an application to have the watch order on him removed under this mandate, which includes statements from the Indonesian Commission for Corruption Reduction that the Balinese police officer responsible for putting Mark on that list is being investigated for corruption, plus the police summons they sent Mark which shows their investigation is not stated as being for a suspected insurgent, and therefore fraudulently applied. Watch this space to see how Interpol do or do not live up to their published public accountability under such a clearly illustrated case of abuse. We must all wish Mark well, so to hopefully stop this ugly business practice by the Balinese police for the sake of other victims yet to come.

In any event, we have now detailed how no-one can presently win against the world’s most corrupt police and judiciary in Indonesia. We have also shown how this corruption is stifling the living standards of the Balinese and Indonesians in our Indonesian Corruption Report, and where it is explained why refusing to go to Bali or Indonesia is the only way to effect change for the good of us all; yes, including the Balinese people. We have shown that once corrupt Balinese police officers have designs on someone, that victim’s best bet is to pay up some extortion money as soon as possible and shut up. For some that is not the way, their principles do not allow them to lie down in the face of police corruption. But at any rate, whether you are a coward or a hero, the best bet currently is to put yourself out of risk’s way by staying away from Bali until the problem is cured. Until then, people travelling to or investing in Bali / Indonesia, are simply putting themselves at risk, feeding the corruption monster with foreign currency, and actually suppressing the Balinese people.

1 Comment

  1. denouncey said,

    Here is a story by independant 35 year veteran investigative journalist Andrew Drummond about one long time Bali reisident’s experience with corruption in Bali.

    link: http://www.andrew-drummond.com/view-story.php?sid=404

    It is sad but true. In Bali anyone with assets will be targeted by law enforcement officials if there is anyone, some business rival or enemy, who is prepared to spend the money demanded by case brokers (“markus” or “maklar kahsus”) who routinely arrange fictional criminal cases by paying key law enforecemnt officials.

    To be clear, this process of criminalizing rivals is in no way limited to victimizing foreigners and those of us who have been victimized should not give in to bitterness by criticising all indonesians and all Indonesian officials. In my long experience, Indonesia is a beautiful country with wonderful people who have themselves suffered for many, many generations at the hands of elites who too often seem quite content to exercise their authority under the sway of foreign corrporations and under the influence of foreign governments. For most people, most of the time Indonesia is a welcoming, safe and fascinating experience. Unlike many countries, Indonesia welcomes foreigners and genuine investors though there are indeed pit falls to be wary about.

    It is nevertheless tragic for victims of Indonesian corruption that there is still no agency, authority or institution , beit inside or outside of Indonesia, that will even recieve let alone respond to our complaints. Our lives and those of our children and employess may be completely destroyed by ruthlessly corrupt officials at the behest of their criminal paymasters but ultimately nobody wants to hear about it; not even foriegn residents and tourists for whom the reality is too gruesome to confront and who certainly do not want to be disuaded from their belief that they have discovered paradise.

    I certainly pray that the t ime for hollow political rhetoric about fighting corruption will soon be over.

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