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Bali's Big Bike Saga Continues

Intense Press Scrutiny Brings Promises from Police and Tax Authorities That Illegal Big Bikes will No Longer be Allowed on Bali's Roads.

(11/29/2009) As reported in Balidiscovery.com [See: Bali Police Pressured to Bring Big Bikes Under Control], the developing story of possible police collusion in the operation of illegal and unregistered large motorcycles continues to unfold.

Beritabali.com alleges that Bali vehicle registration office (SAMSAT) receives a Rp. 3 million "payment" (US$300) from every unregistered bike owner which secures a membership card in a "big bike club" that facilitates operation of the bike on public streets.

Quoting a "trusted source," Beritabali.com reports the are hundreds of illegal large motorcycles operating in Bali who operate on the islands roads under the protection big bike clubs. The source who is a member of a bike club said: "Every year the club pays Rp. 3 million to Samsat and the member of the club receives a membership card. The cards now number in the hundreds."

Beritabali.com said their source had no idea what he the Rp. 3 million given to Samsat was used for or if, perhaps, it was being paid to provincial tax authorities or the custom's office. The source admitted: "My gosh, I have no idea. You'll need to check." The source said that plans to offer an amnesty for big bikes during the tenure of General Made Pastika as police chief, got set aside then Pastika was reassigned to Jakarta.

Traffic Police Respond

The Chief of Bali's traffic police, Bambang Sugeng has vehemently denied allegations of a Rp. 3 million payment to Samsat, saying, "there's no such thing; don't politicize this matter." He told the press that everything done by his division is according to the book and every vehicle must have complete registration or face prosecution under the law.

Sugeng's latest statements are in contradiction to earlier comments to the press when he said unregistered large bikes are allowed to operate in Bali if escorted by the police and their travel was for public service.

Such a practice would be in violation of traffic laws that require all vehicles and their operators to be fully licensed and registered.

According to Beritabali.com, taxpayers are complaining about the large numbered of seemingly unregistered large bikes operating on Bali's roads, calling on Bali's Chief of Police General Sutisna to rein in illegal bikes operating under the protection of large bike clubs.

Tax Authorities Take Charge

In a more recent development, provincial tax authorities have announced that they will soon undertake a survey of the 9 large bike clubs in Bali to determine if a Rp. 3 million illegal levy has been paid in the past and obtain an accurate count on the number of unregistered bikes there are on the island. This move was announced by the head of the tax office for Bali, Ketut Budiasih.

Budiasih has already been asked the leaders of all large motorcycle clubs in Bali to hand over details of bike ownership among their members.

Said Budiasih: "We have asked for data on ownership of the bikes and the identity of the owners. We will then know how many illegal bikes are operating on the island." He insisted that bikes found to be unregistered will be handled in strict accordance with the law.

Plans are for all large bikes to be registered under an amnesty program now in preparation.