Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tourist Robberies Have Bali Police Chief Talking Tough

Made Arya Kencana | September 16, 2010

Denpasar. A recent rash of robberies targeted at tourists in Bali has the provincial police chief warning that heads will roll.

The latest, on Monday night and Tuesday, saw an Australian man and a Swiss man robbed of valuables and millions of rupiah.

Bali Police Chief Insp. Gen. Hadiatmoko said on Wednesday that he had ordered officers to give priority to the cases. “If within a week the perpetrators aren’t arrested, I will personally fire the police chiefs in the jurisdictions in question,” Hadiatmoko said.

In the first incident, the Australian, identified only as Meinteith, 66, lost valuable items and cash when he was burgled while sleeping in his villa at the Bali Wisata Bungalow in Tabanan district.

The victim checked into the villa on Monday afternoon and spent the rest of the day there, going out only briefly to swim and have dinner.

When he got back he noticed the door was ajar but did not notice anything was missing. When he woke up at 7 a.m. he realized several items had disappeared, including his laptop computer, cell phone, digital camera and Rp 4.6 million ($510) in cash.

Meinteith reported his losses, which he put at Rp 23.5 million, to the police, who still have no lead. Meanwhile, the Swiss man suffered heavy losses after getting conned by a gang in Kuta on Tuesday.

The tourist, identified only as Elmar, was accosted by a group of three men and two women as he was coming out of his hotel, the Kartika Plaza Kuta, hotel security chief I Nengah Dana said.

They got him talking before inviting him to a cafe for drinks. Dana said Elmar fell unconscious soon after having a drink and when he came to, the gang told him he owed them a lot of money after losing a bet.

They took him to an ATM and forced him to withdraw Rp 5 million. They then took him to a cell phone store in Denpasar, where they forced him to buy them 10 Blackberrys.

The gang dropped Elmar back at his hotel but stayed far enough away not be caught by the hotel’s CCTV cameras. Dana said the con had cost Elmar “tens of millions of rupiah.”

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