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Bali Rolls Up its Welcome Mat

Officials at Entry Port from Java to Bali Refusing Entry to People and Vehicles Lacking Proper Documentation.

(9/20/2010) In the midst of the massive flow of people that accompanies the Lebaran Holidays, Bali police chief Hadiatmoko is keeping to his word to try to limit an influx of residents from other islands traveling to Bali in search of employment. To this end, tens of Indonesians trying to enter Bali via the ferry crossing from the Port of Ketapang, Banyuwangi without official identity cards (KTP) have been turned away and forbidden from entering Bali.

Bali Post confirmed that inspection raids by port security and police from the Banyuwangi police post are preventing people without a KTP or holding expired identity papers from boarding the ferry headed for Bali. Similarly, the registration papers of vehicles attempting to cross to Bali are examined for clarification as to ownership and legal standing of the subject car or motorbike.

Those turned back with faulty paperwork are suspected of being unemployed individuals hoping to find employment in Bali.

Police are demanding those trying to make the ferry crossing to present either an identity card (KTP), migrant card (KIPEM), a drivers license (SIM) or a passport. A failure to present one the aforementioned are refused access to Bali.

Vehicles with invalid or expired registration papers are ticketed and refused access to the inter-island ferry.

Police have indicated that the border checks will remain in place for at least one week after the Lebaran Holidays.

In a follow-up report in the Bali Post, revealed that a check by the paper on Saturday, September 18, 2010, showed that despite added staff and an intense inspection process, some people without identity cards (KTP) were managing to pass border controls.

Many managed to land in Bali on local boats along the north shore of Bali or hide-away on busses to escape document reviews that would send them back to Java. These were among the devices and deceits used by people trying to seek employment and a better future in Bali by by-passing controls at the Bali ferry crossing.

During the Saturday visit by the Bali Post, several travelers using other people's identity papers were caught and refused entry to Bali. A car full of employees from a Denpasar restaurant was made to wait for hours when it was discovered that the driver had no KTP.

Data maintained by the port security police at Gilimanuk shows that 781 residency violations were uncovered from among the many thousands of people crossing the straits during the peak travel period of September 11-17, 2010. Of that total, 561 were refused entry while the remainder were allowed to continue their journey on the basis of assurances that they were on holiday; confirmation that they were in transit to Lombok; or on the basis of guarantees sent from Bali residents.