Saturday, April 6, 2013

Dutch journalist releases second Bali undercover extortion video in scam exposé

One of the  Bali police bribery segments in the 'Fraudsters Abroad' programme.

By Made Arya Kencana in Denpasar

INDONESIAN authorities have been dealt another embarrassing blow when a second video shot by Dutch stunt journalist Kees Van der Spek hit YouTube this week.

Van der Spek, a journalist for the Dutch TV station SBS6, secretly recorded a customs officer at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport demanding a $200 bribe. The video was posted days after another undercover shoot showing extortion by Bali police made headlines in Indonesia.

Both segments are part of a new Dutch show titled Oplichters in het Buitenland ("Fraudsters Abroad"). In the 42-minute show, Van der Spek and his crew travel the world, breaking the law to expose scams and extortion attempts by local authorities.

In the latest video, the undercover journalist's team is held up by customs officials at Ngurah Rai Airport. The crew was attempting to arrive in Indonesia without necessary filming permits from the Indonesian Embassy.

Van der Spek admitted he had attempted to enter the country on a tourist visa because he didn't want to inform Indonesian officials of the purpose of his trip. The crew was told that they had to leave their equipment at the airport and pay a $6500 holding fee.

They would then have to return to the Netherlands, apply for the proper permits and fly back to shoot their segment.

In the footage, a customs official approaches one of the Dutch journalists and pulls him aside for a private conversation. Van der Spek said that the official had promised that the team and all of their equipment could enter Indonesia if they hand him $200.

Two $100 bills
The film then shows a Dutch man giving two $100 bills to the official and shaking hands.The narrator says:
Here Joep hands over the bribe to the customs official. 
And moments later we leave the airport — without a permit, but with all our equipment.

This is absurd. We're just here one second. Immediately scammed out of $200. Welcome to Bali.

 The airport's customs chief established a team to investigate the incident.

"I immediately instructed the chief of the internal affairs section to conduct an investigation," Bali customs office chief Ngurah Rai Made Wijaya said when asked about the video.

Wijaya confirmed that his men had received bribes from Van der Spek's team but refused to divulge names of those under investigation.

The customs office chief said a hearing would determine the sanctions given to the officers involved.

"We will see what types of violation that they have conducted," he said.

Bali police may charge Van der Spek with paying a bribe.

National police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said that he was aware of the video and would take all steps to address the officers' conduct.

"We are committed, no matter how small the violation is, to take firm action," he said at the State Palace. "If it's a matter of discipline, ethics or anything else, we will act firmly."

He added that a suitable punishment would be handed down if the investigation by the internal affairs division deemed it was warranted.

Made Arya Kencana is a journalist with the Jakarta Globe. This story was originally published here.

Police corruption in Bali video - (Dutch + English)

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