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I've Got the Bali Jail House Blues

Narcotics Raid on Baliís Main Prison Goes Badly Wrong Resulting in Prison Riot, Injuries and Widespread Damage.

(7/2/2011) A riot at Bali’s Kerobokan Prison on Saturday, June 25, 2011, precipitated a riot between prisoners, guards and officers of the national anti-narcotics police that resulted in an estimated Rp. 2.98 billion (US$339,000) in damage to 5 lock-down units, the operation offices of the prison, computers, and CCTV surveillance systems.

The midnight surprise raid by national anti-narcotic police was reportedly targeted against prisoner Agus Riyadi, a former member of the elite police Densus 88 team serving time for drug dealing and suspected to be continuing that illicit trade from behind bars.

Media reports say that Riyadi was not in his prison cell at 1:00 a.m. when the raid occurred, but elsewhere in the prison, purportedly attending a drug fest with fellow prisoners. The surprise raid by the police angered the inhabitants of the grossly overcrowded prison, sparking a riot that resulted in injuries to a number of officials and the press, including Kerobokan’s chief warden Siswanto.

In its wake, the foiled raid has sparked counter accusations from local prison officials deicting the narcotic’s officers as "misdirected cowboys" while Jakarta officials are firing back, citing the lack of control demonstrated by Bali’s prison administrators.

The Bali chief of Police, General Hadiatmoko, told the press that the Narcotic Officers should have contacted the Bali police in order to coordinate their raid and ensure a more positive outcome.

Bali prison authorities, backed by the local legislature, are demanding the national anti-narcotics squad to pay for the damage resulting from their scotched raid at the Bali prison.