A joint task force comprised of Regional Tourism Officials, Water Police, Immigration, and State Prosecutors in cooperation with representatives from the Association of Water Sports Businesses (Gahawisri), swept down on a number of Sanur-area business suspected of operating illegally in raids conducted on Thursday, August 22, 2002.
Following the raid a number of businesses, including two apparently employing foreign nationals, were found to lack the proper local operating licenses.
According to a report carried in the Bali Post, Bali Safari Divers, a foreign investment project located on Jalan Mertasari was discovered to be lacking a location permit and its owner, a Maldivien, to have overstayed his immigration permit. The paper reports that a lack of correct documentation was also cited to an Italian operating the Blue Oasis Beach Club, a joint venture wind-surfing company established in partnership with Bali's champion windsurfer.
Both of the foreign operators received formal summons to appear in court.
Several other water sports operators in the Sanur area whose owners were not present during the raids, received letters to report to the tourism office in the coming days and present proof that they possess all required permits and licenses.
The raids, apparently undertaken at the urging of Gahawisri, who protested to authorities about foreign investment companies stealing their market and not being in possession of a complete set of required operating licenses. The Association has indicated that they will keep the pressure on local authorities to expand their crackdown to other areas of the island.
Companies found to be operating without the required licenses are liable for fines of up to Rp. 50,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months.
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