The recent seizure of two large motorcycles by the Bali police for lacking the proper import, tax and road certificates has reawakened the long-simmering controversy regarding police collusion in support of the illegal operation of large two-wheel vehicles on Bali's roadways.
Beritabali.com reports that the two motorcycles with a value of hundreds of millions of rupiahs were seized in an area close to Bali's traffic police headquarters.
One of the large motorcycles was driven by Eka Sukmana from Mengwi, Bali. The second seized bike was a Suzuki Sport model driven by Mark Richard Loe of Jalan Basang Kasa Gang Badung, in Seminyak.
An unnamed source told Beritabali.com that the second bike was caught traveling on Jalan Gunung Sanghyang.
Curiously, both bikes were seized on December 17, 2009, but the case only came to the attention of the press on April 6, 2010.
According to Beritabali.com, police officers contacted by them refused to comment on the case. When Wahyu Tri Cahyono, a ranking officer at the Bali Traffic Police office was contacted he declared he was not handling the case, insisting his office was only involved in matters related to driver licenses. According to Cahyono, vehicle documents are handled by the vehicle registration office Samsat.
Meanwhile Agus Sugianto of the Bali Police insisted that the two vehicles were not in police custody.
According to Beritabali.com, the current case offers proof once again that unregistered large motorcycles continues to be major problem in Bali, with an estimated 90% of large bikes presumed to be illegal. Past press reports have alleged official police involvement in the motorcyclist associations which "sponsors" temporary licensing arrangements for the illegal vehicles.
In a separate article in the same media, the chief of the Bali Traffic Police, Gede Alit Widana, admitted to the press on April 8, 2010, that there are many illegal large motor bikes in Bali.
Widana said his office is processing the case of the two seized bikes which is still under investigation. "After our investigation at the criminal division of the traffic police headquarters, and not the traffic division. In addition to a lack of registration the two bikes were also found to be using fake license plates. . .we continue to hold the bikes."
If the owners of the bikes which to take possession they must, according to Widana, present legal registration documentation which includes import certificates and vehicle registrations from Samsat.
The lead traffic cop admitted that there are many unregistered big bikes in Bali and that his office will not play favorites in deciding who to prosecute. Widana explained, "If they lack the required documents and are on the road we will seize them and investigate."
When challenged by the press who asked if the police protect and escort unregistered bikes traveling in convoys under the guise of community service, Widana said that the police do grant "a little" tolerance to these illegal vehicles.
Widana quickly amended his comments, saying that escorts are provided by the police and when the same vehicles are found traveling independently on main roads without complete certification they will be seized in accordance with the law.
Explaining the reasoning for this selective enforcement, Widana said: "these big bikes travel fast and are difficult to bring to a quick stop and, as a result, are prone to accidents. Thus, if they are traveling independently we will stop them and review their documents."
[75% of Older, Large Motorcycles in Bali Illegal]
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