Police and Immigration authorities in Bali are working together to investigate a German woman found sleeping rough in an abandoned building in Badung Regency. Daniela Jeromin, 51, who traveled to Bali on a German passport was detained by Badung Police on Monday 4th July.
The Head of the Badung Regency Satpol PP, I Gusti Agung Ketut Suryanegar, told local reporters that a foreigner was arrested on Sunday night after reports from local people of a ‘restless’ foreigner wandering in the area. The community suspected that woman now known to be Jeromin, was hiding out in an abandoned building. The police conducted a search of the premises early on Monday morning that resulted in Jeromin’s arrest.
Suryanegar told reporters that “Residents around the location are suspicious of the presence of the female foreigner. She has been in the empty house for about 10 days. So, it was feared that something might have happened, they finally chose to report it to us’.
Suryanegar explained that police were accompanied by the Head of the Badung Intelligence Section I Made Astika and his team who struggled to get a coherent answer from Jeromin. Suryanegar went on to say that ‘When examined, the foreigner was uncooperative. Her explanation was not clear and she kept failing to answer. So, we have secured a number of identity documents in the form of her passports and handed them over to Immigration’.
Sharing the findings of the investigation so far, Suryanegar said ‘”The initial assumption was that she ran out of money. So there was no cost to stay at the hotel. Currently, the foreigner concerned is at the Immigration Office ahead of the deportation process”.
When Jeromin was handed over to Jimbaran Immigration she was given a rapid Covid-19 test, to which she tested negative. She was then transferred to the detainment center at Jimbrana Special Immigration Checkpoint. Suryanegar and his team continued to gather witness statements from people in the area.
Since Jeromin is being uncooperative and seemingly has no resources to fund onward travel or return to Germany, meaning Immigration has a lengthy process ahead of them. The authorities are still trying to question and investigate Jeromin’s reasons for being in Bali and how she came to be hiding in an abandoned building.
The Head of the Information Section of the Class I Immigration Office (TPI) Ngurah Rai, I Putu Suhendra, also spoke to reporters and alluded that there was more to the story than he was able to make public at this time. He said ‘She is still being investigated. The person concerned is still at the Ngurah Rai Immigration Office and the team is checking everything”. When asked if he could provide more information he said that he could not disclose data or further details about the situation.
Local reports state that Jeromin will soon be transferred to the Denpasar Immigration Detention Center, also in Jimbaran. Explaining the reasons for this transfer, Suhendra said ‘Currently, the foreigner does not have a ticket to return home. Therefore, she will be placed at the Denpasar first, while completing the deportation investigation file’.
There has not been a statement released by the German Consulate in Bali and authorities in Denpasar did not reveal whether they are working with the consulate at this stage. It has also not yet been revealed whether Jeromin has overstayed her visa, or which visa she entered Indonesia on.
The deportation process can be lengthy, and with seemingly no resources for legal aid, and no family or friends publicly coming forward to help Jeromin, there is no set timeframe for how long she may have to stay in the Denpasar Immigration Detention Center.
If a criminal or offensive act has been undertaken by a tourist, Bali Immigration acts swiftly to deport the individual. Like in the case of Samuel Lockton who was deported from Bali last month for climbing a sacred tree on the grounds of a temple. He was deported back to Australia in a matter of days following the incident.
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