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Resistance to Change

Illegal and Dishonest Money Changers Spur More Demands for Police Action

(3/15/2014) Bali Daily (The Jakarta Post) reports that the Association of Money Changer (APVA) is again calling on local authorities, Bank Indonesia officials and the police to close down unregistered moneychangers.

Past calls for the authorities to clamp down on illegal moneychangers have gone unheeded.

Referring to the illegal moneychangers, Suparta, an advisor to APVA, said: “They will continue to operate if there is no firm action from the authorities. Their number has even increased, with some new players.”

The call for law enforcement action is happening against the backdrop for numerous reports of trickery and fraud by moneychangers, including the now infamous undercover report done by a Dutch TV journalist catching several moneychangers in the act of defrauding foreign tourists.

Suparta mentioned a recent case where a guest staying in a Kuta hotel who lost US$262 from a dishonest moneychanger who, when confronted by hotel staff, returned the money to the tourist. Added Suparta: “It was only one reported case. I’m sure there were a lot more victims that did not report it. If the perpetrators could get Rp 3 million from one victim, imagine how much they could reap from many others.” 

The chairman of the Bali Tourism Promotion Board (BPPD), Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati, has joined the call for tougher enforcement citing the need to protect Bali’s image as a tourism destination

The chairman of the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI – Bali), Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya cited the role of local communities, mentioning how the community of Sanur ejects illegal moneychangers whenever such businesses are discovered. Similarly, Sanur does not tolerate beggars, scavengers and hawkers working the streets of their neighborhoods.

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