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Officials Reveal More Details About Bali Airport Tourist Extortion Case

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On Tuesday 14th November, five immigration officers who work at Ngurah Rai Immigration post at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport were arrested on suspicion of extorting money from tourists to use the fast track arrivals line. 

Four tourists walk down Bali airport depatures terminal towards gates.jpg

The five immigration officers remain under investigation, and the situation has caused quite a stir across Bali.

Officials have spoken out following the arrest to reveal more details about how the fast track lane at Bali Airport could work moving forward.

They’ve also spoken about steps they are taking to ensure that the commitment to the airport being a ‘Corruption Free Zone’ is held in integrity. 

On Tuesday, officers were caught charging tourists to use the free-to-use fast-track immigration lane. The dedicated counter is in place for only those who need it most, whether this be VIP arrivals, elderly people, or those with additional needs.

@faizalmaulana_22 Salah satu tempat terindah saat landing 😍🛬 #Bali ♬ original sound – Ian Asher

Bali Regional Secretary, Dewa Made Indra, has spoken out to thank the Bali High Prosecutors Office for taking up the investigation and stopping the immigration officer’s illegal operation in its tracks. 

Indra told reporters, “We thank the authorities who carried out the control. The Bali Provincial Government’s interest is how it can serve tourists well.”

He said, “We know that at certain times, for example, in the afternoon, there are a lot of arrivals which has an impact on the queue at Immigration. So, certain people such as VVIPs and VIPs don’t join the queue, so a special lane is created. Once again, the intention was good.”

Addressing immigration officers around the province, Indra added that fast-track services should not be extorted for personal financial gain. He noted however that the case will be dealt with by the Bali High Prosecutors Office and the Directorate General of Immigration, not the provincial government.

He confirmed that the case is ongoing at the Bali Prosecutor’s Office Special Crimes Department. 

While airport officials and government representatives have been clear that paying for fast-track services at Ngurah Rai Immigration is illegal, some tourism observers have been speaking to the press and revealed that this situation has been playing out for quite some time. 

Local tourism expert Panudiana Kuhn told reporters, “Fast track is [seems as] a VIP service, payment per person is IDR 275,000, in the past everyone could play.”

During the arrests, it was revealed that the team from the Bali High Prosecutor’s Office managed to secure cash worth IDR 100 million [USD 6,400]. Kuhn feels that this is a clear sign that tourists were also playing along with the break in the system. 


He explained that in many big international airports, the fast track service is free and promoted as a service for business class passengers.

He said, “business class usually gets this service, apart from that at customs the suitcases are also out first, [it can also be used] by people who use wheelchairs, even though they are economy class they are services first.”

“Likewise for families bringing small children, this is an international standard. Meanwhile, Indonesia is a developing country to get an excellent service at the immigration department you have to pay extra!” He joked. 


In light of the extortion case the Association of Indonesia Travel Agents (Asita) is proposing that new regulations be introduced to better control the system, and to offer a paid-for priority processing service at the airport. 

The Chairman of Asita Bali, Putu Winastra, said “We are pushing for clear regulations to be made and collected officially, so the money goes into the state treasury.”


He concluded “We, as one of the Bali tourism associations, really regret that this case occurred. In fact, together with the government, tourism actors, and the community, we want to organize Bali tourism to be of higher quality. This case has tarnished Bali.”

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Monday 20th of November 2023

In the West - that would have likely been a cost-to-use lane to start with, rather than free. I have never seen any service like this at airports in the West that doesn't come with some sort of charge. So, corruption still hasn't be legalized in Bali!!


Sunday 19th of November 2023

Don’t stop with the airport, kantor imigrasi, driving bureau, and don’t forget the banjar… As bule we are game, unfair game.


Monday 20th of November 2023

@Brownbeam, Yep. In my area they collect fee for weekly trash collection but they have basically stopped collecting the trash due to Suwung fire. So if the money is no longer spent on paying Suwung to receive trash trucks, who keep the money then?


Sunday 19th of November 2023

Just add some manpower and the lines wouldn't be so long. Singapore is all electronic now. The technology exists and it works


Sunday 19th of November 2023

When I was a very frequent air traveler to Bali I used to fly into Surabaya, zip through immigration and get a cheap flight to Bali. That's how stressful this airport is.


Saturday 18th of November 2023

So if you have to use a wheelchair and assistance you have to pay for the priority lane. I didn’t ask for the problem for what I have to use a wheelchair but will be punished for my immobility


Wednesday 22nd of November 2023


Problem is, once you start allowing that, others take advantage who are not disabled. It's a very common old trick used by Chinese and other communists to get through long lines quickly. Old behaviors passed on from parents and grandparents.

Life is not fair. If God put you in a wheelchair, then he has other good things in store for you.


Tuesday 21st of November 2023

@Elly, Is just common courtesy to help the disabled. For all that you know is that the person is a disabled veteran. Shame on you for even posting such a disgusting post,remember Karma!


Monday 20th of November 2023


Do you expect special treatment because you are handicapped? Get over it.


Sunday 19th of November 2023

@Hns, You don't have to pay in a wheelchair.