Tourists arriving in Bali are being warned to keep an extra close eye on their baggage after two Algerian men were arrested for theft at the airport. Police and security forces in Bali operate around-the-clock surveillance at Bali Airport, and it is considered safe. Airport arrival areas all around the world sadly naturally attract opportunistic thieves.
The two men, known by their initials RAAR, 53, and AHB, 29, were arrested by police at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport at 1 am on Saturday 4th, March. The duo was operating in the area late on Friday 3rd, March. They wandered around the arrivals area, appearing to look at information signage, ticket offices, and tourist counters.
It is now known that the pair stole bags belonging to three different individuals. The first bag they stole belonged to 34-year-old Dinda Karin, who is from East Java. Karin arrived in Bali on a flight from Dubai over the weekend. He is reported to have left his luggage at the Grab pick-up point while he used the bathroom, only to return moments later to find his luggage gone. Svitoslav S. Fomenki, 20, from Russia, and Leila Simone, 19, from the USA, also reported their luggage stolen on Saturday night.
Witnesses told reporters, “He [Karin] had searched into the international arrival terminal but was not found. Then it was reported to the Airport Police at that time, around 23:30…The victims do not know each other. After receiving the report, members immediately coordinated with the security of Ngurah Rai Airport.”
@eecuyer Bali opened it’s international airport again and it’s amazing 🔥 DPS Airport #foryou #foryoupage #bali #travel #destination ♬ Miss You (Sped Up Version) – _
Security officials then checked CCTV and quickly identified the two men at work. Police were immediately deployed and arrested the men who were still in the vicinity of the airport. The Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit of Air Area Police I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Iptu Rionson Ritonga, has since confirmed that the pair have admitted to the theft and told police that they did so as they could not afford ‘the necessities of life.”
The news of opportunistic thieves at Bali Airpot comes just a month after a porter was arrested for stealing IDR 5 million (USD 332) in cash from a tourist’s bag. Police announced the arrest of the man known by his initials KA on the 5th of February. He is known to have been caught snatching cash on the 26th of January.
KA was caught in the act by a fellow, honorable porter. When the other airport porter spotted KA pocketing the cash, he immediately reported the crime to his superiors. The police were called, and KA was tracked down, having his lunch in the corner of the airport. The IDR 5 million in cash was found on his person, and he was swiftly arrested and charged with theft.
While the incidence of theft at Bali Airport is rare and quickly acted upon by authorities, it’s still not unheard of. Tourists are urged to never let their bags out of their sight, especially in busy areas of the airport that are open to the public, such as drop-off and pick-up points. Always double check all your belongings are where they are meant to be before moving from one airport space to another, and double check all bags are completely zipped up.
This year Bali Airport has made a commitment to invest in improving customer experience. InJourney is a state-owned enterprise in Indonesia that is responsible for all aviation and tourism-related renovations. The director of the company announced last year that Bali Airport would be the first of the country’s airports to undergo a series of improvements to help put customer experience front and center. The Director, Dony Oskaria, wants Bali Airport to feel like a destination in its own right, prioritizing comfort as well as functionality.
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