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Tricksters in Seminyak Bali

Last night I went out for a few beers at a local bar and chatted with some Seminyak expats. One guy was quite angry about something that happened to him on Dec 26th. He was riding his motorbike home and about 200 meters from his house someone called his name. He stopped and 2 Indonesian guys approached him, “We’re from the narcotic squad” they said “We have a warrant to search your house” quickly flashing what looked like a police ID and showing a paper warrant.

Once inside the house a few more guys appeared, none in uniform and started searchnig his place. They found a tiny bag of marijuana and told him he would have to pay 50m rp or go to jail for 3 months. Although the bag did not belong to him, he paid and just like most people and was very nervous about the whole thing. They told him “Okay you’re out of trouble but don’t say anything about our ‘team’.
Recently the guy was approached by a senior police officer who said he was conducting an inquiry into these guys activity. They were not real cops, or maybe one of them was. Around 20 people in Seminyak have had this happen to them. I asked him what would happen if he refused to pay, and he told me one guy did…and they left. Of course the victims did not know one another until recently.
I asked the guy how he felt and he said angry. I said if it was me I’d be angry too, but also relieved that it wasn’t the actual drug squad. It would really be time to worry if the actual police were doing this kind of stuff, since they could do it any time they wanted.
Anyway when you live in Bali you have to be aware of what is going on. If someone comes to your house and says “I want to search it” don’t let them in until you have called your consulate and get the head person on the phone. You should also photograph anyone who comes in, as well as their ID and paperwork. The local banjar should also be notified since its their neighborhood.
After my friend paid, he noticed the warrant was left in the house. Checking it out he saw it wasn’t actually his warrant, someone else’s name had been whited out and his name written on top. Who knows, maybe none of them where cops, but they made out like bandits for a while.
(Since this story didn’t happen to me, I really have no evidence other than what the guy told me).