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Misguided, at Best

Two Gianyar Men Arrested and Fined for Working as Illegal Guides in Tabanan, Bali

(12/16/2011) Two illegal guides, Gusti Ngurah Somaarta (35) and Kadek Carman (27) were apprehended last April in Tabanan and brought before the courts on Wednesday, December 14, 2011, charged under the regulations governing illegal tour guide operations.

Somaarta from Tulingkup, and Carman from Banjar Petak Kaja – both in Gianyar, were fined Rp. 600,000 (US$66) each for their violation of the law. The penalty was less than the Rp. 1 million (US$111) or a six-month jail term demanded by the Public Prosecutor. When the judge offered the lesser sentence with an alternative of one week’s jail, the two men quickly opted to pay the fine, telling the press they’d prefer to work rather than sit behind bars.

The two illegal guides were caught by local enforcement officers at Ulun Danu Baratan on April 25. At that time, the officials seized the men’s identity papers and called them in for further investigation and interviews.

An official from Tabanan explained that provincial rules require every guide who brings guests to tourism objects in Bali to have an official guide license. This requirement, according to the official, must be enforced to ensure a high level of service to visitors and protect the overall image of Bali.

Travel agents found to be employing unlicensed guides in Bali face possible revocation of their company operating permits.

The two men who opted to pay the fine rather than spend a week in jail did not specify to the press  what kind of work they would pursue after paying their fine.