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Police In Bali Quick To Respond To Bizarre New Custom License Plate Trend

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Police in Bali are working hard to stop a new trend in its tracks. There has been an alarming rise in the number of foreigners who have been adding custom license plates to their mopeds and motorbikes in Bali. The custom plates are not formally registered with the transportation agency.

Traffic Police Officer In Bali.jpg

After police intervention, the new trend further caught the attention of the public thanks to observational accounts like @moscow_cabang_bali. Police across Bali’s tourism hotspots are now on the lookout for more offenders.

The first foreigners to be pulled over by traffic police were visiting Nusa Lembongan. Offices from the Klungkung Police Traffic Unit in Nusa Lembongan arrested four foreigners on a number of serious violations. Of the four individuals, three had custom plates showing a phone number and text, and the fourth had a name branded on the plate. All four were arrested based on the fact that none of them had helmets, a SIM C motorcycle license, nor did they carry their foreign identification documents on them. Police have confirmed that the four individuals arrested in Nusa Lembongan are from Russia.

Speaking shortly after the incident, the Head of Public Relations of the Bali Regional Police, Kombes Pol Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto, said, “These violators committed gross violations. They do not wear safety helmets, have no driver’s licenses, no personal identity passports [documents], without being equipped with vehicle papers, and use fake license plates. The violators were arrested at the Klungkung Police for questioning.”

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As soon as videos started appearing online, both residents and visitors to the island snapped photos and videos of drivers with illegal custom license plates and sent the evidence to the police and citizen journalism social media accounts. There are dozens, with more going viral by the hour. Police in Bali have announced that they are increasing the surveillance of the issue around all the major traffic spots in all of Bali’s major tourism hotspots. This included Canggu, Seminyak, Legian, Kuta, and Ubud.

Kombes Pol Setianto also confirmed that during the inspection of license plates in Nusa Lembongan, an Australian and a French national were also pulled over due to issues with the number plates. However, it was soon discovered that the issue with the license plate falls under the responsibility of the motorcycle owner, who did not have the correct license registration for the vehicles. Setianto said, “The results of the temporary inspection, the motorcycles used by the [Australian and French] violators are motorcycles from rental services. One of the violators here is a rental service provider.”

Speaking separately, the Klungkung Police Chief, AKBP I Nengah Sadiarta, told reporters, “We take legal action against motor vehicles that TNKB (Motor Vehicle Number Sign) is not in accordance with the [legal] provisions.” He said that there are many authentic-looking license plates that do not match the registration of the vehicles or that the vehicle registration documents are either fake or out of date. Sadiarta confirmed that his teams across Klungkung Regency would be tackling the issue as a priority.

The move to crack down on fake license plates as quickly as possible comes as part of a bigger move by the authorities in Bali to quash illegal behavior by foreigners. Last week officials confirmed that a new task force is being launched to crack down on foreigners working illegally in Bali. One foreigner who was found guilty of operating a photography business that broke his visa conditions has already been deported.


Social media is playing a huge role in building public awareness of these kinds of illegal activities, along with increased police presence. Social media account @moscow_cabang_bali continues to gather more and more momentum. As does social justice activist and Balinese entrepreneur Ni Luh Dejlanktik who is using her platform for the good of local communities.

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Thursday 9th of March 2023

Western foreigners feel like they can do whatever they want in developing countries but when people visit or immigrate to their developed countries all of a sudden "it's an invasion and they are responsible for all the crime".


Monday 13th of March 2023

@raymond, Why you reduced smoking in restaurants to Russians? I see most smokers are from all European countries, also local people (Indonesian) smoke wherever they want.


Friday 10th of March 2023


No one is allowed to Immigrate to Bali or anywhere in Indonesia.

And no one is saying that Russians are responsible for all the crime or bad behavior. What is quite apparent is that they are doing a lot of it, and just don't seem to care about other people or cultures, and are hell bent on imposing their lifestyle on everyone else here.

They are taking of advantage of the warmth and kindness of the Balinese and it would seem they plan to have this as a vassal State of Russia. Another Crimea.

I have been told by a few Russian people that "We don't like follow rules', I also asked them why do they drive so crazy and endanger other people’s lives. 'We like take risk' that's the answer.

Let me ask, why do all the Russian Men here think it’s OK to smoke in Restaurants when they cannot do it in Russia?

In Russia like most countries there is serious authority that will stamp out any errant behavior, but here we all have to monitor our own actions and behave the best we can. And try to get along.

Lynne Chelin

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

The Government need to take drastic measures now,as it's getting out of hand,and they are laughing at the Balinese, I was just in Bali for a month, and spoke with numerous Balinese about the Russian people, and they are worried about what's happening in Bali,and just how much the Russians are getting away with.


Tuesday 7th of March 2023

Looks like the words POLICE and Russians go hand in hand. WTF come on Eastern Europeans get it togethers and be good guesses. You are visitors time to act like it. As for the police you have much larger problems to deal with then this. The police in Bali are amazingly polite and helpful people but since the new governor took office they have dropped the ball in making Bali a safe and enjoyable place to visit. It is time to put your attention on the local people that are breaking laws and destroying the tourism industry.

1. Traffic there is a need for more police to help the traffic move faster 2. Polluting the rivers police need to arrest local people for dumping garbage in the rivers of Bali, Pollution is not caused by the tourists 3. Confiscating the motorcycles of the boys taking their mufflers off their motorcycles. And put them in jail. 4. Tackling the purse snatchers.

These and other violation need to be address and a strong signal sent to the Indonesian community.

As for the poor behaver from the people visiting Bali it is time to start kicking people out of Bali. Make people read the laws at the airport and sign a paper saying they will behave in a polite way and if they do not they must pay a huge fine and be deported. I do feel sorry for the people of Russia having a mad man running their country and having to leave so they are not a part of the crazy war. It must be very hard for them. That said they must change their ways and stop acting like F-ing A-holes. If a Russian sees a fellow countryman doing something that will tarnish the name of their country they need to confront them.

I have total respect of the police in Indonesia they are very good at what they do. I have never felt threatened by them. The reason I have never felt threatened is because I do not break the laws here. So best advise the tourist is behave politely and stop acting the same way you wd in your own country. You are a guest here now act like one.

Julie Gilbert

Tuesday 7th of March 2023

Well done. I think it's contemptuous that tourists in Bali and locals blatantly flout the local laws. No helmets, no licence plates. In Australia they would be up for huge penalties.


Tuesday 7th of March 2023

Here’s an idea export all Russians back to Russia,then you won’t need large billboards on how to act in bali


Monday 13th of March 2023

@raymond, I saw that some Aussies did some of these actions. So, we need to depart all Aussies?


Monday 13th of March 2023

@Vicki, Most of them behave fine, you cannot discriminate people by their passport. Depart law breakers despite their nationality.


Wednesday 8th of March 2023


You got it!!!!!

1. Drive like complete entitled @ssholes without any care whatsoever about other peoples safety or lives.

2. Put their stinky bare feet that have been walking around in dogshit on all the furniture at any restaurant they visit where they stay for hours and smoke cigarettes.

3. Don't pay their bills and run off and the staff at some warungs, Yoga Barn etc, have to chase them down if they can catch them.

4. Steal from the stores. I've watched them doing it and others I know have also seen it.

5. Have babies at the local Bidan where they pay about 50,000rp, if they pay at all instead of going to a hospital.

6. Park their big flashy Yamaha X Max right near the entrance of any store rather than parking in the marked spaces.

7. Collect puppies when they arrive and leave them at the hotel they stayed at or wherever.

8. Make noise and party without any care whatsoever about the neighbors, as they just don't give a shit about other humans.


Tuesday 7th of March 2023

@Vicki, money is king here, unfortunately...

The thais got wise, booted them out, how long until bali wakes up?


Tuesday 7th of March 2023

@Vicki, good idea !