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Kuta Officials Hold a Cowboy Round Up to Curb Gigolos Practicing Their Trade in Bali.

Bali News: Bali, Kuta Cowboys, Gigolos, Amit Virmani
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Local security forces along Kuta Beach in Bali are keeping a close eye for young men engaged in the world's oldest profession along the popular Bali beachfront.

The uniformed community enforcement officers (Satgas Pantai Kuta) are patrolling the 7-kilometer stretch of beach with instructions from village chiefs to do whatever they can to stop gigolo's practicing their trade in the wake of the widespread publicity given to a pseudo-documentary "Kuta Cowboys" feared to tarnish Bali's tourism image.

According to the national news agency Antara, some young men suspected to be selling their "charms" to visiting lady tourists have been rounded up by law enforcement officers.

The documentary made by a Singaporean filmmaker Amit Virmani has local authorities upset for the negative light in which it portrays Bali. As a result, people interviewed in the film have been called by police, uniformly insisting they had been told they were being interviewed for a film on HIV/AIDS and were victimized by the misrepresentations of the Singapore filmmaker. In the course of official investigations surrounding the film police have discovered that the Singaporean made the film without obtaining the required permits and licenses from the Bali Film office. Police, who wish to call the Virmani to Bali for questioning and possible prosecution, are apparently vexed by the lack of an extradition treaty between Indonesia and Singapore.

Despite admission by Kuta's village chief that "Kuta Cowboys" have practice their trade for more than two decade, Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism Jero Wacik has pledged his office will take steps to try to prevent the premiere and distribution of "Kuta Cowboys." Wacik has also called on Indonesia's Minister of Communications and Information, Tifatul Sembiring, requesting assistance to prevent the films distribution via theatres, DVD and the Internet.

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