Bali Traffic Officer Caught on Hidden Camera Extorting Foreign Tourist

By Jakarta Globe on 09:41 pm Apr 04, 2013
Category Crime, News

A Bali traffic officer was caught on video extorting money from an undercover journalist who violated a traffic rule and later drank a beer with the Dutchman while he bragged about other extortions that day.

The cash exchange was caught on hidden camera by Kees Van der Spek, the tourist who was stopped by Sec. Ins. Komang Sarjana, a member of the Badung district police traffic unit, according to news portal Merdeka.com. Van der Spek, who is a journalist for Dutch TV channel SBS6 and intentionally gets himself involved in legal issues in foreign countries to show the problems Dutch tourists face abroad, uploaded the nearly five-minute video to YouTube on Monday.

The video depicts Sarjana asking Van der Spek to come to the police station in Lio Square after he was caught driving a motorbike without a helmet. At the station, the officer informed him that while he could go to the Denpasar court to address the traffic violation, a different agreement could be reached.

“If you go to the court of justice, [you would pay] Rp 1.25 million [$128]. Here, I give you [just a] Rp 200,000 [fine]. It’s good for you,” Sarjana said, as depicted in the video.

Van der Spek paid the officer four Rp 50,000 notes, then asked if he still needed to go to the court.

“You don’t need to go to court, [the case] finishes here,” Sarjana replied, before agreeing to release Van der Spek with his motorbike and still no helmet.

He reminded him to wear a helmet the next day, but said: “No problem for today, you can go anywhere in my area [without a helmet]. I won’t stop you again today.”

When Van der Spek went to leave, Sarjana invited him to stay and have a beer. Sarjana paid for the beer using some of the money Van der Spek paid him, and bragged about how he had already extorted a total of Rp 500,000 from three tourists that day.

Badung Police chief Adj. Comr. Komang Suarthana said that Sarjana, his subordinate, was questioned by the Bali Police Professionalism and Security Affairs Bureau (Propam).

“It [the incident] happened six months ago, but it went in YouTube on April 1,” he said, as quoted by Liputan6.com on Wednesday.

Kompas.com reported that Bali Police chief Insp. Gen. Arif Wachyunadi said that Sarjana had been dismissed from his post in Lio Square police station.

Van der Spek told Merdeka.com that the experience did not make him wary of traveling in Indonesia.

“I’m not afraid coming to Bali… because the place is gorgeous. There are many pleasant experiences there, which included being treated for a beer by the police who fined me,” he said.