In July this year, the Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, announced that he would be establishing a dedicated Tourism Task Force to crack down on badly behaved tourists in Bali.
This task force organized by the central government came in addition to localized task forces established by the provincial and regency governments in Bali.
Following a sharp rise in the number of tourists conducting illegal or disrespectful behavior in Bali, leaders across the island and the central government were clear there would be a zero-tolerance approach to foreigners who broke the law or disrespected local culture.
Incidences of illegal acidity included working or operating businesses on tourist or visitor visas, robbery, public indecency, and breaking traffic laws.
Speaking at the time of the announcement of the formation of the Bali Beck Task Force Director General Karim explained, “We hope that with the formation of the Bali Becik Task Force, the level of violations of laws and norms by foreigners in Bali will decrease.”
He added that the immigration control operations would be conducted “Following the issuance of 12 Obligations and 8 Prohibitions for Foreigners by the Provincial Government of Bali.” This list of do’s and don’ts for tourists was issued by ex-Governor Koster before his term ended in September.
The Do’s and Don’ts for tourists are a comprehensive list of behaviors tourists should abide by during their visit to Bali in order to stay within the law, respect local Balinese culture, and ultimately have an enjoyable stay.
Director General Karim issues his Bali Beck Task Force with completing one hundred immigration control operations a month by the end of the year. The Bali Becik Task Force has been in operation in Denpasar and Singaraja in North Bali over the last two weeks to monitor foreigners’ behavior on the island.
At the time of the announcement, Karim’s description of an immigration control operation was a far-reaching one.
It could include everything from targeted raids on accommodation based on substantiated reports of criminal activity or a simple stop-and-chat interaction between officers and tourists on the street or at tourist attractions.
Bali Becik Task Force has given an update about their recent activities. Between 31st October and 3rd November, three teams were stationed at Ngurah Rai, Denpasar, and Singaraja.
In Ngurah Rai, officers visited Pullman Bali Legian Beach, Bollywood Masalz, Queen of India Bali, Clubmed Bali, Finns Beach Club, and Rob Peetoom Hair Spa.
Of the 60 foreigners who were stopped by officers, all were found to be compliant with the law and able to present documents to officers when asked.
In a statement issued on Wednesday 8th November, the Director of Immigration Supervision, Safar M. Godam, shared, “The first day of operations was relatively minimal [immigration violations], we are optimistic that this is due to the increasing awareness of foreigners in complying with applicable immigration regulations.”
Over the course of the five days, a total of 222 immigration control checks took place across 43 points across the Ngurah Rai, Denpasar, and Singaraja areas.
Godam reveals, “Of this number, only nine foreigners required further treatment from the local immigration office because they committed violations such as not being able to show travel documents [including passports], activities that were not in accordance with their residence permit or addresses that did not match the application.”
Godam said that 54 notes of appreciation were given to tourists by the Bali Becik Tourism Task Force officers as a gesture of gratitude for their compliance with Indonesian law.
Godam concluded, “With the Bali Becik Task Force, we are trying to ensure a Bali that is free from violations by foreigners.”
As the festive season approaches, more officers will be out and about in Bali, checking in with tourists to ensure that everyone is safe and behaving in accordance with the law.
The updates from the Bali beck team come with a s timely reminder to tourists to always carry their passports on them and to be able to present onward travel documents and proof of accommodation when asked by police, tourism task force officers, or the civil service on request.
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