Officials in Bali have announced that they have deported a Russian national who was caught working illegally on the island. The news comes as the provincial government confirms that they are creating a dedicated task force to crack down on tourists attempting to operate businesses and work illegally in Bali. The Russian national, known by his initials SZ, is 28 years old. He was caught working as a photographer despite his visa not permitting him to work.
The deportation of SZ was confirmed to the media by the Head of the Immigration Office Class I TPI Denpasar Tedy Riyandi on Tuesday, 28th February. He confirmed that SZ was caught offering photography services in Bali, which went against his visa conditions.
Riyandi shared that SZ had entered Indonesia on an investment visa with a view to opening a restaurant and a property business. However, the visa SZ was granted only gave him permission to carry out specific business-related activities; he was not permitted to carry out income-generating work.
Riyandi told the press that SZ was arrested at his rental property on Jalan Culali, South Batur Village, Kintamani District, in Bangli Regency on Wednesday, 22nd February. Riyandi said, “From this community report, we followed up, and the team from the Intelligence of Immigration Class I TPI Denpasar on Wednesday, 22nd February, 13.00 WITA supervised immigration and found a foreigner who was found to carry out activities as a photographer.”
The Head of the Immigration Office in Denpasar assured reporters that SZ paid for his deportation flight at his own cost. Riyandi confirmed the events leading up to SZ’s arrest and the evidence gathered to justify his deportation. He stated that SZ originally entered Indonesia, at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International, on 27th April 2022.
He arrived on a limited residence visa for investors, and he is believed to have a company that is engaged in the hospitality and property investment sector. However, the company has not been operational. Riyandi said that SZ is listed as the director of the said company but that he is known to have been offering photography services in Bali, and there is sufficient evidence of him advertising his services on social media.
SZ was deported on Tuesday, 28th February, and is banned from returning to Indonesia for six months, though this may be extended. The news comes just hours after officials in Bali have confirmed the deployment of a specialist task force to track down and punish illegal workers in Bali. Following a sudden rise in the number of foreigners overtly advertising and providing a range of business services in Bali without the correct visas and permits, officials are tackling the issue head-on.
Public awareness of the issue has been increased thanks to leading public figures like Balinese entrepreneur and social justice activist Ni Luh Djelantik and a new Instagram account called @moscow_cabang_bali.
In a statement issued on Monday, 27th February, the Head of the Provincial Tourism Office, Tjok Bagus Pemayun, told reporters that the task force would be well resources to tackle the issues at hand. He said, “we have the municipal police (Saptol PP), the Manpower and Energy and Mineral Resources Office, the Industry and Trade Office for the permitting aspect, and the complete police apparatus in the task force.”
The statement from Pemayun was also echoed by the Deputy Governor of Bali, who is known more often by his nickname Cok Ace. The Deputy Governor said he did not hold a grudge against foreigners who work legally in Bali, but that undocumented and illegal workers must be bought to justice.
In the last few hours, a circular letter from the Presidential Palace in Jakarta has been released publically. The letter has been addressed to the Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, the Head of Bali Police, Inspector General Pol Putu Jayan Danu Putura, the Director General of Immigration, Silmy Karim, and Nia Nascaya who is the Deputy for Strategic Policy at the Ministry for Tourism and Creative Economies.
The letter has also been addressed to civil representatives including Ni Luh Djelantik and Wayhu Bdui Nugroho, who is a lecturer of social and political sciences at Udayana University.
The letter is inviting addresses to attend a meeting “related to the situation of the security and public order in the Province of Bali, especially in the context of the activities of Foreign Citizens (WNA).”
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