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Bali Ferry Port on High Alert

Rest of Radical Javanese Cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir Prompts Security Alert at Bali Ferry Port of Gilimanuk.

(8/21/2010) The recent arrest in Java of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir by Indonesia's elite Densus 88 Anti-terrorist Unit has raised alert levels for security officials charged with guarding the west Bali ferry port at Gilimanuk. According to Beritabali.com, the port has been put on a general alert or "siaga" status.

The precinct chief for port security (KP3) in Gilimanuk, Putu Suartha, told the media on Tuesday, August 17, 2010, that his office had been placed on alert following Ba'asyir arrest in order to prevent terrorists from entering Bali. "At this time, almost nightly intensive inspections are carried out in cooperation between Densus 88 and officers of the Jembrana police precinct," Suartha said.

Suartha also admitted that smuggling at the port remains widespread. This is due to the fact that sufficient personnel were not available to thoroughly inspect the many heavily loaded trucks passing over the straits between Java and Bali. Similarly, he explained, the lack of intense scrutiny by security forces was also used to smuggle illegal migrants into Bali.

In recent days additional security forces have been put in place to examine both the goods and individuals passing through the Gilimanuk port and the nearby check point at Cekik.