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The Games Up

Bali Police Chief Warns Errant Traffic Cops Seeking Bribes from Visiting Surfers.

(9/4/2010) Beritabali.com reports that Bali's new chief of police, General Hadiatmoko, is displeased with reports of corrupt behavior by members of his force victimizing tourists visiting the Dreamland, Uluwatu area of south Bali, promising stern action against any police officer caught soliciting bribes.

Uniformed Bali traffic officers are suspected of a long-standing pattern of targeting surfers traveling on the southern peninsula and requesting illegal fees. Reports from the public contend that uniformed traffic cops traveling on motorcycles are laying in wait at intersections where they stop the tourists and demand to see driver licenses. If the tourist fails to produce a license, the matter is usually resolved with the payment of a bribe of between Rp. 25,000 (US$2.80) to Rp. 50,000 (US$5.60).

The practice, which sadly is not limited to the island's south, is said to be most pronounced near the popular Dreamland surfing beach.

One local resident told beritabali.com, "they are free to take bribes because of the remote location where their acts will not be observed."

Separately, General Hadiatmoko promises that he will follow up public reports and will not be hesitant in moving against those who blemish the name of the police. "I have ordered the police intelligence bureau (Intelkam) to investigate. If this (bribes) are occurring, this represents a significant violation that damages the image of Bali," added General Hadiatmoko.