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 Bali launches operation targeting foreigners

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BerichtOnderwerp: Bali launches operation targeting foreigners   Bali launches operation targeting foreigners Icon_minitimema 31 okt 2011 - 6:57

The Jakarta Post, Denpasar Sat, 10/29/2011 8:23 AM

Ester Samsonova was surprised when she opened the door of her room and saw officials and reporters waiting outside.

The Czech woman then showed her passport, visa and other supporting documents showing that she is a university student at the Indonesian Arts Institute (ISI) in Denpasar.

She rented a room in a boarding house at Jl. Nusa Indah, Kesiman, which is only a short distance from the ISI main campus.

The other four rooms in the house were also rented by foreign students enrolled at ISI. But on that day, she was the only person still at home.

“Here is my passport, visa and other documents. I am a student here, at ISI Denpasar,” she told the officers.

In another house in Kebun Kori, Dan Paul Dawn, a UK citizen, also showed his documents and explained his occupancy to the officers.

“I’ve been living here for a long time as a retiree. But I always renew my documents in accordance with existing law,” said Dawn.

A day before, Philipe Escane from America and Aaron Thomas Reddy from Europe were suspected of misusing their visas for business operations. They had visas for social and cultural visits only.

The two foreigners were warned by the officers and would be summoned for further questioning.

Since early this week, the Denpasar administration has launched an operation targeting foreigners living in the city, checking their visas and permits, in an effort to prevent transnational crimes.

“We know where the foreigners live from regular reports from the district heads. We are targeting these locations,” said Denpasar public protection agency’s senior ranking official Anak Agung Made Sumarjaya.

He said the operation was conducted to ensure the foreigners had proper documents, as well as to anticipate crime committed by international syndicates.

According to Sumarjaya, many foreigners in Bali were involved in various crimes, such as drug trafficking and pedophilia.

“As one of the foreigners’ main entrances to Indonesia, Bali should be more aware. Therefore, we are conducting this operation.”

This operation is also being carried out in connection with the upcoming ASEAN Summit in November, as well as many other international events, such as the APEC conference.

“We check whether their documents are genuine and up-to-date. They should also report to the district head in their neighborhood, especially those who have been living in one place for a long time,” Sumarjaya said.

Based on the recent operation, his office had only found two foreigners misusing their visas.

Haerun from the Denpasar Immigration Office said that the monitoring operation was more difficult as there were many foreigners who chose to live in mixed housing complexes where local people resided.

“The Denpasar administration has actively and regularly carried out operations to monitor foreigners. We hope other regency administrations will actively conduct similar monitoring operations. We also need the public, especially district heads, to help us in completing the data about foreigners in their neighborhoods.”

He said foreigners misusing their visas would be questioned intensively, and if they were found to be misusing the documents, they would be deported.

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