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Crackdown on Illegal Bali Hotels and Clubs Begins

Badung Officials Start Closing and Sealing of Illegal Hotels and Nightspots in Kuta and Legian Area of Bali.

(10/5/2009) Community enforcement officers have finally begun to take decisive action against Badung regency accommodation and night entertainment venues who have failed to secure required licenses and permits in support of their operations.

On Monday, September 29, 2009, authorities formally sealed and closed the 11 unit Sari Residence on Jalan Nakula in Legian, refusing to accept the owner's excuse that the property was operating for almost an entire year on a training basis pending issuance of the needed operating licenses.

The closure of the hotel, the first in a series of a number of similar shutdowns to come, was ordered by Badung's Regent A.A. Gde Agung who had reportedly wearied of numerous news reports depicting his administration as incapable of administering local zoning laws.

According to NusaBali, a number of local businesses were summoned to meetings with Badung officials and reminded that leniency was at an end and businesses without permits would be closed. The Head of the enforcement division (Satpol PP Badung), Adi Arnawa, told the press: "Not only the Sara Residence, but we have also called on the VI Ai Pi, Lanai Restaurant, Best Western Sapta Petala Hotel and Dee Jay Café."

Arnawa explained further: "The government is often forced into a corner. When, in fact, the business owners build first, operate and only then begin to organize permits. The result is that many buildings do not conform to the principle permits. This is a situation which must be addressed."

True to Their Words

A follow up report in Radar Bali confirmed that the crackdown is continuing, following the closure of the Sara Residence, the Vi Ai Pi Bar in Legian closed it doors "for maintenance" on Friday, October 2nd just hours before enforcement officers were due to close and seal the premises. Badung enforcement official Arnawa depicted the self-closure in the following terms: "They (Vi Ai Pi) already have many customers, so they decided to protect their image by closing of their own accord before they were forced to close by officials."

Radar Bali reports that the Vi Ai Pi Bar located near ground zero had posted a "Temporarily Closed for Maintenance on its entry door.

Similarly, the Lanai Restaurant, which has also been cited for not having the required licenses, voluntarily closed its doors on Saturday, October 3, 2009. Arnawa also said another bar in Legian, whose name he had forgotten, but was close to the Vi Ai Pi, had also closed.

Separate reports in NusaBali confirm the unnamed bar as Crusoes.

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