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Don't Go Changing to Try to Cheat Me

Head of Money Changers Association Speaks Out on Illegal Money Changers Continuing Activity in Bali.

(4/4/2005) Chairman of the Bali Chapter of the National Association of Money Changers (APVA) Supatra Karang, called for a crackdown on illegal money changers before their numbers grow and do further damage to Bali's tourism image.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, March 30, 2005 and quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post, Supartra said that while illegal money changers number no more than 1% of all money changers in Bali, their presence and frequent practice of committing fraud against visiting tourists damages Bali's image. "We often hear complaints from tourists regarding tricks and frauds played by money changers. These complaints clearly ruin Bali's tourism image, causing tourists to feel unsafe when holidaying in Bali," explained Supatra.

An Issue of Enforcement

Supatra, complaining that the steps available to his association are powerless in stopping the unlicensed money changers, said his administrative control is limited to members of his own association comprised solely of licensed foreign exchange dealers. Enforcement and crackdowns against illegal and unlicensed money changers remained a matter entirely in the hands of local law enforcement, he explained.

In a separate forum the Head of Bank Indonesia Denpasar office, Ketut Sanjaya, said his office continues to work with the police in taking action against illegal and unlicensed money changers. In instances where companies are doing money changing without the required money-changers license, he said that the offending business would have its operating licenses suspended.