What is it about Bali that holds a special allure for criminals and fugitives from the law?
Following a scandal in November 2010 when tax-swindler Gayus Tambunan was spotted wearing a disguise at an international tennis tournament in Bali while missing from his cell at National Police Headquarters in Jakarta, Bali has again earned fame as the resort-of-choice for wanted felons with the arrest on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 of the former mayor of Bekasi (West Java), Mochtar Muhammad.
With a sentence of six-years behind bar recently affirmed by the Indonesian Supreme Court, Mochtar had failed to respond to two formal summons to report to prison when members of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) descended on the Villa Lalu on Jalan Pura Dalam in Seminyak, Bali and arrested the former mayor.
Mochtar was initially found guilty of causing a Rp. 5.5 billion (US$600,00) loss to the State via monies stolen from official funds to support a rich lifestyle that included cars, shopping sprees and bribes paid to win environmental awards. That conviction was initially overturned on the appellate level, but finally reinstated by the Supreme Court when the KPK challenged the appellate court's ruling to the highest court.
Claiming through his attorney that he had yet to receive a certified copy of the Supreme Court’s ruling, Mochtar steadfastly refused to report to jail to begin serving his sentence.
When he received his second summons to jail, Mochtar fled to Bali where the KPK pursued him to the Seminyak villa, arrested him and placed him on a commercial flight to Badung where he was taken directly to Sukamiskin Prison in West Java.
[Bali: The Great Escape]
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