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A Matter of Misdirection

Illegal Guides, Including Hungarian George Miholovic, Netted in Sweeping Raids Coordinated by Indonesia Guides Association

(2/8/2014) NusaBali reports that a joint raid conducted by provincial enforcement officers and representatives of the Bali chapter of the Indonesian Guides Association (HPI) has resulted in the capture of 11 unlicensed guides.

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Sang Putu Subaya, chairman of HPI-Bali, said that prior to the raid observations were conducted in several areas frequented by tourists in Bali at which numerous unqualified and unlicensed guides were seen dispensing unqualified information on the Island's history and culture to their customers.

"The result of sweeping raids carried out on January 27th resulted in 11 people being caught operating without guide licenses" said Subaya.

Among the 11 illegal guides netted in the raids was a Hungarian national George Miholovic. After his apprehension Miholovic was handed over to immigration authorities for further disposition.

Among those caught in the raid were illegal guides wearing badges listing them as "senior guides" in the employment of Bali travel companies.

Subaya said the operation of unlicensed guides causes damages to both the members of the HPI and the public. To become a guide, he reminded, requires extensive education and training, language skills and cultural expertise. Guides are also checked for their general knowledge and asked to embrace a code of ethical practice. "All this is via a certification program carried out by an institution of advanced education competent appraise candidate skills abilities. Finally testing is carried out by the Provincial Tourism Service, done in the name of the Governor before a formal guide license is issued," he explained.

Among the tourist areas targeted in the sweeping raids carried out on January 27th were Tirta Empul, Tampaksiring, Gianyar and Pasar Desa in Ubud.

Indonesian nationals found to be providing guide services without the required license are in violation of Provincial Regulation Number 5 of 2008 and the Governor's Decree Number 14 of 2009. Travel Agencies found to be employing unlicensed guides are violating the Provincial Law Number 1 of 1010 on Tourism Companies.

Foreign nationals providing such services are not only in violation of the above laws, but also violating immigration and manpower regulations that are punishable by imprisonment, fines and deportation.