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Master of the House

Illegal Villas in Bali Cited as Fronts for Illegal Foreign Workers

(4/6/2012) Bagus Sudibya, a Bali tourism entrepreneur and the Honorary Consul for South Africa in Bali, told Bisnis Bali on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, that there are many expatriates in Bali operating illegal villas. He has called on the government to increase the scrutiny of those foreigner involved in operating illegal accommodation services.

Sudibya said that Bali has between 62,000-65,000 registered accommodation rooms across the entire island. At this time there are also some 1,000 villas owned by foreigners. A part of these villas do not have legal permits or valid building permits. These commercial villas are registered as private accommodation.

He went on to explain that from the estimated 1,000 villas only 300 are licensed with the remaining 700 illegal. He complained that when private homes are rented out to tourists this causes losses to businesses and fosters unhealthy price competition in the market. He further contends that the illegal villas do not pay taxes.

Sudibya said some of the illegal and unlicensed villas have as many as 10 rooms, all failing to make a contribution to the island's tax coffers. The employees of these villas are  comprised of locals, mostly working on an informal basis and failing to pay tax on their incomes.

Sudibya, who has filled many senior roles in tourism organizations in Bali, said that the involvement of foreigners in illegal villa operations also constitutes  a violation of the Country’s immigration rules. He said foreigners found to be working in villas should be criminally processed and then deported.

Disappointed at the proliferation of foreign workers and villas in Bali, Bagus Sudibya said villas are being constructed in village area, in locations inappropriate for foreign residences. Moreover, he said that expatriates are increasingly involving themselves in the sale of produce, gardening and local restaurants operations.