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Bali Taxi Driver Arrested After Extorting Foreign Tourists, Apprehended in East Java

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A shocking emergency incident involving a taxi driver extorting and brandishing a sharp weapon at foreign tourists in Bali has gone viral on social media. The video captured the taxi driver demanding an exorbitant fare of US$50 from two foreign passengers, leading to a tense confrontation. The incident took place on Tuesday (2/1/2024) around 5:00 PM local time on Kayu Aya Street in Seminyak, Badung Regency.

According to Bali Police spokesperson, Kombes Jansen Avitus Panjaitan, the taxi driver insisted on a fare of US$50, while the two female passengers argued that the taxi meter showed only IDR 50,000. The situation escalated as the foreign passengers were forcibly removed in front of The Legian Seminyak Hotel.

“WNA (foreigners) agreed to pay only IDR 50,000. The foreigners screamed hysterically and were eventually dropped off by the taxi driver in front of The Legian Seminyak Hotel,” explained Jansen on Thursday (4/1/2024).

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Identity Revealed, Captured in East Java

After the incident gained widespread attention on social media, the police swiftly launched a manhunt for the taxi driver involved in the extortion. The suspect, identified as YT from East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), was successfully apprehended in East Java on Thursday afternoon.

“The suspected perpetrator has been detained,” confirmed Kanit Reskrim Polsek Kuta Iptu Anggi Wahyu Romadhoni on Friday (5/1/2024). YT had attempted to flee after extorting the two foreign passengers but was tracked down and captured by the police in East Java.

Outrage from Bali Tourism Transport Union

The extortion incident has sparked outrage among the Bali Tourism Transport Union. Chairman of the Bali Tourism Transport Union (Pawiba), I Nyoman Sudiartha, urged transportation companies to tighten their operational standards and driver qualifications.

“We observed the driver wearing shorts in the video. After checking with the operator, he is not a company driver. Whether he is a freelance driver or something else, we don’t know yet, as the case is still under investigation,” remarked Sudiartha on Thursday.

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He emphasized that the incident was a criminal act involving threats with a sharp weapon and expressed regret as it could create a negative perception of Bali’s safety among tourists.

“While not all drivers are like this, it reflects poorly on the entire tourism sector. This is an isolated incident, and we, as participants in the tourism transport sector, strongly condemn it. It will have a widespread impact on tourism,” he stated.

Regarding the reasonableness of the demanded fare of US$50, Sudiartha refrained from commenting, stating that fare agreements are typically reached through mutual consent between passengers and drivers. He urged taxi and online transport companies to prioritize standard operating procedures (SOP) to avoid such incidents in the future.

Source: Detik Bali

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