Several months ago, a visitor to a popular local on-line Bali travel forum asked forum members for creative ideas for entertainment at a children's birthday celebration. Several members quickly responded suggesting "clowns" were available in the form of late-night revelers leaving one of Bali's many bars while magicians could be engaged doing slight-of-hand at your nearest money changer.
Unfortunately, the contributors were only half-joking.
In a related vein, the recent arrest of crooked money changers by Kuta Police has received an enthusiastic response from Bali's Chief of Police, Inspector General Paulus Purwoko, who is determined to make such jibes less relevant in the future.
Committed to safeguard both Bali's visitors and the Island's reputation, Chief Purwoko recently told the Indonesian language Nusa Bali that he found dishonest acts by Bali's money changers extremely "annoying." He called on other government agencies and the public to join his officers in bringing recalcitrant money changers to bay.
Among steps planned by Chief Purwoko to help eliminate shenanigans by money changers who short-change their customers is an examination of which government bodies are actually empowered to issued licenses to money changers and brining the license holder to court together with the employee caught cheating customers.
As part of an overall reward and punishment scheme for Bali police officers, Chief Purwoko has promised acknowledgement and rewards for any of his officers demonstrating initiative in curbing crime on the Island.
While Chief Purwoko's men may eventually get rid of the scourge of free-lance magicians working at local money changers, the unpaid clowns found on many Bali's streets in the wee hours may be here to stay.
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