With just 10-weeks to go until Bali hosts the G20 Summit in Nusa Dua, security efforts are being ramped up across the island and at key border check points. The most common point of entry to Bali is I Gusti Ngurah Rai International. It Is here where heads of state and their delegations will arrive into the newly constructed VVIP Terminal. The main sea port in Bali is Gilimanuk and security operations have increased in the area as of this week.
Jembrana Police have also increased their surveillance operations along the coastline of the regency. While police have not suggested they are actively anticipating a threat, with world leaders for the world’s twenty biggest economies arriving to be in one place at one time, security operations are on high alert. Biosecurity has been security service’s main priority in recent weeks following the ban on the movement of livestock from province to province due to Foot and Mouth Disease in cattle in both Java and Bali.
Security staff are looking for any suspicious activity or items within luggage. This includes explosives and narcotics. Security operations are running 24-hours a day. A total of 35 security personnel have been deployed at Gilimanuk Harbour alone. They are being supported by the Gilimanuk Port Sector Police, and the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence teams at Jembrana Police.
Gilimanuk Harbour is the entry point for travelers arriving in Bali from Java by ferry. The port is also one of the key transportation hubs for the island for the import and export of goods. While most domestic and international travelers opt to fly from Bali to Java, Gilimanuk remains a busy port receiving thousands of passengers every week. Officers have been instructed to use metal detectors on luggage and deployed sniffer dogs at Gilimanuk Harbour.
The Jembrana Police Chief AKBP I Dewa Gede Juliana told repairs that ‘We are still on standby for personnel to carry out inspections. Inspections run 24 hours’. He confirmed that the sniffer dogs are not required to work 24 hours. He explained how each dog in the Bali Police K-9 Unit is operated for up to 2-hours at a time due to welfare and a decreased capacity to detect substances.
AKBP Juliana told the press that coastal patrols are also playing a vital role in ensuring the safety of Bali in the run-up to the G20 Summit. He shared that he hoped that local residents and fishermen on the waters would play an active role in reporting any suspicious activity. He said, ‘We also hope that the community will participate together. After all, the part of the entire community is very important in maintaining security’.
Security has been ramped up across all ports on Bali, including Padang Bai. The Head of the Padang Bai Port Sector Police, Kompol Made Suadnyana, has told the media that passengers on the Java-Bali ferry will be subject to increased security checks upon arrival. He said, ‘We continue to carry out 24-hour security, use sniffer dogs, monitor every passenger’s luggage, especially passengers who have just got off the ship’.
Compared to Gilimanuk, Padang Bai is relatively quiet, generally processing more tourists than goods. Within a 24-hour period, just 26 vessels passed through the harbor, most of which were passenger boats transporting tourists to the Nusa Islands, Gili Islands, and Lombok.
Locals and tourists are reminded that they can expect an increased presence of security personnel across Bali until the G20 Summit on 15-16th November. Over 2,000 police, army, and security services officers have been deployed on the streets, both covert and undercover. Security rehearsal events are being run regularly, and people in Bali are invited to cooperate with the security personnel, local Banjar and pecalang should there be road closures, diversions, or venue closures in the coming weeks.
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